Many people ask me - "How can I go and train in Kenya?" I recommend one place; email email@example.com to go and stay at the Home of Champions. Join a slue of Olympians from around the world and running enthusiasts who come together for talk, training, and an unforgettable Kenyan vacation
Some of the Shoe4Africa runners from 2013 - it is soon meeting time for 2014! Looking forward to seeing faces from the peeps I have been E-talking to for the last few months,and of course the regulars. Today I saw one of our runners was featured in SELF!
10/20 Good article by the IAAF journalist of the year, Elias Makori, who highlights the sad face that even though today, in Kenya, it is a day to celebrate past heroes that the past-heroes are often not in our thoughts...
< a href="http://www.nation.co.ke/sports/Forgotten-shujaa-Maiyoro-is-detained-in-hospital-over-bill/-/1090/2492358/-/ky55fh/-/index.html">Article]. I was thinking about this, and why it is so. I mean the land that was gifted to him should remain his. There are a couple of issues to this article - first the 'what is his by rights' and also 'should he be helped for who he was' -- I have met Maiyoro, only when he was long time retired. I don't know what type of person he was, the impression I got was a very social nice man. Maybe the Government can gift free health care to those who attain a certain status? Not sure what the answer is... I know many times athletes unions have attempted to be started, but no one is willing to put in capital. IF a proper union was formed, with dues, then this story would be wiped from the press but... I remember when Lucas Sang was buried, how many athletes said they would come by, help, support the kids etc... and a year later the wife told me nobody visited, nobody helped, everyone stayed away. There are no easy answers.
In the mind boggling continuation of world dominance at the Half Marathon distance of late an unknown 21-yr old Kenyan, Abraham Cheroben, joined the ranks of Kenyan Valencia half winners with a super fast 58:42... Emily Chebet took the women's in 68-mins and one tick, a new CR... Other news Bernard Kipyego takes the Amsterdam Marathon in 2:06:22 in front of his training partner Rotich, almost a minute back, with our friend Abel Kirui making a return to the finisher's line with a solid 2:09 with his focus on qualifying to run for Kenya next year in the world's - he has two titles and wants three.
In Iten we have a French running shoe designer called Stephane. He is from the company Kalenji (short for Kalenjin, the running tribe). I have never heard of this brand but they tell me in France it is quite big. We should have a Shoe4Africa Kalenji Shoe...Speaking of which thanks to Shoe4Africa Germany - boxes of shoes arriving from Germany.
10/19 Today I was at the hospital then a touch of education as I zipped over to the Eldoret club (where Edna Kiplagat was taking her kids swimming) to speak to the Kensap kids - kids who have won the chance to get an amazing scholarship to group of topnotch American Uni's. Professor Mike Boit asked me to come and it is always a pleasure to meet these young inspired (hopefully) changemakers of the next generation.
Mike Boit founded this program quite a few years ago and was helped by Paul Tergat.
I also met the head of the football for the North Rift - tomorrow we have football! A little S4A project.
Super impressed by Pieter Langerhorst & Lornah Kiplagat's latest venture - LornahSports.com. Wow is all I can say.
10/17 Eating traditional vegetables (Managu) and Ugali at the home of Chairman of Athletics Kenya, Isaiah Kiplagat. He has a beautiful house not so far from Eldoret. Going home the roads were so muddy as the rains came.In the morning I was at the hospital site and then with the PR team of Moi Referral. We are planning our next event.
10/16 Sitting in a restaurant in Eldoret having a meeting with Yusef who happens to own the restaurant. It is raining cats and dogs. Just got the great news that PEPSICO shoe4africa marathon team breakfast is going to be at the Landmarc restaurant. I was actually there with Richard and Tony last month discussing the hospital project and GE that lead to last Friday's meeting. Same restaurant where we had George Hirsch's 79th, and where I was with Zee & David earlier this year... it is indeed a Landmarc, right by the Time Warner for a great pre-central park run.
Talking running who was zipping by this morning but Wilson Kipsang, getting ready to try and win the TCS NYC marathon in two weeks... he is targeting the course record and not of course trying to recapture his WR that was lost last month.
10/15 In Kenya I drive a lot usually. Most of the time back and forth to Eldoret. That is where I went today. Morning was to a site meeting when all the key team members came together - Architect, site manager, finance manager, contractor, Nurses, electrical, structural engineers and more, plumbers blah blah and we have our monthly meeting - there is so much going on. Progress continues at an amazing rate too.
Then I was working on the Internet, then I had to go and do banking duties - bumped into Moses Kiptanui in the bank. Then I went to meet the man who prints the Shoe4Africa T shirts for me. Then to meet the DC to talk about some other deals, it was a long day but the goodness was I got home before the heavy rains as I like driving, but not in heavy rains!
A special picture for me, nearly my last ever. Here I was going into surgery on October 7th 2013 - if I had been one hour later this would have been a picture of a dead man as at this stage I had immense internal bleeding of the brain. Kind've freaks me out to think about it but am ever grateful of the positive story that soon after this picture I went into the ICU where I remained for a few days.
The Justin Gaitlin controversy continues as in Oslo reports show that if you Dope the effects will continue to last. The sport needs an overhaul before the Tour de France comes to the running world. If Gaitlin received a lifetime ban he should not be lining up for a shot as the athlete of the year - what is that telling the future generation? Case History - Ludmilla Engqvist of Sweden. Caught for doping. Came back. Amazingly started to run faster that when she was doping (read into the lines). A few years later we find out she was of course doping. Another 'Glory runner' who was adored in Sweden (when she became a Swedish national) and I recall (many of) the Swede's saying, 'she has done her time, now welcome her back to the sport'.Okay, let's go over to diseases: The link to read about the Ebola efforts, over in Liberia [link].
Shem, son of Rita Jeptoo, watches Chicago '14
"Do you believe in miracles?" Claudio, coach to Rita Jeptoo asked Rita's sister, one of three who had just arrived with two brothers, and Rita's son and nephew, to watch the race. "Because I don't and she will need a miracle to win."
For the last five days Rita has not trained. In fact the physio has been working on her 24/7. When the race started we were expecting Florence who had talked 2:18 shape to be there pushing. Nope. Strangely enough, maybe they were watching Rita (and not knowing) the pace was very slow.
Claudio explained the whole process, Rita not feeling well, going to Nairobi for a check up getting the all clear, a final session, pushing a little and boom - a bump on the tendon and no running. "This is not looking good, she is not running normal..." he stated as we watched what had to be the worst coverage ever of a marathon on NBC - (imagine watching the US Open when we see a weather lady more than Serena Williams, where we get Joe-on the Street more than we saw Eliud Kipchoge). Then Claudio gets crazy distracted by his athlete Dickson who will run a one minute PR to become the latest in the Sub 2:05 club. Claudio screams in the Italian language, hits the sofa, the wall, runs out on the veranda, has ten Italian calls, runs back in...
Meanwhile Visiline, a 2:26 runner is screaming so loud as Rita reappears and is now leading. Janeth Jepkosgei, no stranger to the fast running is also clapping and Rita's sisters are shouting out - well one is down on the ground praying...
Rita has had the month of months as a lead up due to personal issues and this injury - indeed a miracle happened. Fore a woman who could barely run days earlier... rumors about we'll see Rita on Fire in Europe for her next marathon!
Lunch at the Eldoret Club, breakfast at the bank, quick site visit, checking on a dental and more - lots going on in Kenya.
10/11 Iten, Kenya - just bumped into Edna Kiplagat, straight from the gym (the world champion), she's going to be one of the favorite's for the NYC Marathon.
Yesterday in Nairobi visiting GE and talking hospitals. Traffic continues to be terrible. The trip to the airport was 25km and it took 2-hours. I sat down in the waiting room and who was right next to me - 1972 Olympic medalist Mike Boit, a friend for many years.
Talking Kenya's elite women--Tomorrow is Chicago and I am sad to say I don't think Rita Jeptoo will defend her title. If she did she would have been the first person to win four WMM title races in two years. That was based upon... (above)
10/07 Yesterday I was at a nice restaurant thanks to Stacey doijng 'shoe4africa stuff' on Lex at 104th El Paso I think it was called. I had the entree fish Pollock that was really good,a nd the desserts are pretty good too. I went for the top item that was a small round chocolate java cake thing. This restaurant that gets good zagats rating IS good - thumbs up. Recommended.
My day took a turn for the worse. BAck home that night working on the computer my leg was hurting, nothing new. Then I had to take my sock off there was so much pain and I was shocked to see that the ankle was about 50% bigger than the other on the medial side! Wow. How come? Plus my calf was bulging and really painful. As if it would burst out of its seams. When I stood the pain was even worse and super tender. My Docs-online told me - Go get it checked, sounds like thrombosis. I said, "It is 9pm" but I got, Go. So Go I did which found me at Harlem ER at 9:30 pm and wouldn't you know I was there till 2:00 AM the morning of the 7th (today) - exactly one year ago from when I was taken to Harlem Hospital on an ambulance!
10/05 A-hem, I missed Grete's. Blame Dave Siegel & Zee. What happened, ont he rainiest of mornings... they turned up! So we ran and I thought one loop, it ended up two. I was rejoicing thinking this is my long long run.. till I remembered each loop was six miles not eight as I thought. Shows how long since I have run a loop in Central Park. Well the master plan was to finish and pop into NYRR Towers and pick up a number. Wouldn't you know I forgot, then I was dashign down to the Wall St area to meet my design mentor Peter Farago swhere we coffee'd and spent a fun afternoon. In fact I was 'down' there the night before checking out the Woolworth kitchen restaurant for the SHOE4AFRICA pasta party. Funny story I posted a few years ago for a place then Nicole S Q told me about this place "Lou's a great guy, he will help you." Put on the fast forward and Jon said, "Lou's a great guy..." Turns out he knows of him, knows of S4A and agreed to give us his place nad Jon is helping us with food AND gave a $3,000 donation... we had a good night! I had three glasses of Cranberry - my fave drink! I also ate salmon.
Fast forward to meeting Grete's but I did do some coaching with Kev who kindly gave me a $500 donation for Shoe4Africa - a great patch of fund raising. Then another athlete I coach Will sent in 100 buckaroos - I want a weekend every day for S4A. Then thanks to Dave Siegel who hosted a Shoe4Africa board meeting on Sunday afternoon in one of those posh tall buildings - Guess what, I saw our sponosr logo through the window!! Can you see it, in red? Small center?
10/04 JOB POSTING, from our friends at Urban: "We are hiring for full and part time work at the store at Madison and 92nd. This obviously comes with no obligation to run for UA. We offer a supportive environment for runners and great store discounts. A great job for anyone who loves running. Positions open now! Anyone interested can contact Jerry by email. Jerry@UrbanAthleticsNYC.com
The facts are that Justin Gaitlin has two life time bans from being caught for cheating by doping in order to run faster. Today somehow, in a sport that says it is promoting Zero Tolerance Gaitlin is not only competing but he is running faster than before. And to champion his cause the IAAF have promoted his name to be one of the few for the IAAF Athlete of the Year.
Two strong runners come to NYC to replace... two strong runners - Boston Marathon Champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon runner-up Jemima Sumgong of Kenya are to replace Stanley Biwott & Priscah Jeptoo -- three athletes of the four are trained by, in my opinion, the best coach in the systems today - Claudio Berardelli.
Toby, Daniel Komen, Ezekiel Kemboi, Joshua Cheromei, John Ngugi, (hidden Christopher Cheboiboch), Benjamin Limo, Noah Ngeny, Sammy Korir, Joshua Chelanga. Yup, quite a line up.
I used to do this web page as a way to 'recruit' shoes through running news on a local/international scene. Then I carried on, not sure why. Then it turned more to food. -- Maz Mezcal, I think it is called on 86th ST between 3rd & 2nd, a good mexican place if you are in the neighborhood. In fact I should not have been, as I was meeting my friend Javier but I got the address wrong by 12 blocks... as good fortune had it the place he picked was super crowded so he came 'north'. Great Mexican, I took the fish (as usual) and asked for spicey, the only problem was their spicey was needed an upboost, but the fish was good as was the guacamole. My friend Javier is a most interestign guy - his father is the only Argentinian to win a Nobel Prize for Literature.Unbelievably Train Hard, Win Easy. The Kenyan Way. will be 20-years old in 2017... I am thinking of bringing out an E-edition, and maybe a European book. Maybe...
10/01 Question of the day - will Africans sweep ALL the Asian Games distance medals? [link]
09/30 Le Bilboquet on East 60th (park to Madison) - Shmuel took me out, it is quite the swanky place (on the next table was the Google CEO Eric S. whom I did not recognize but have heard he was a big help in Kibera). Anyway we were talking about the World Champs in Boston, in February... for indoor rowing amongst other things. The food was advocado & Crab salad, riviera halibut, tarte tatin & (Shmuel's choice) Opus One 2010...
A step up from my bagel lunch. I must profess a rolling new year's resolution to make a better diet...
Michael Capiraso, George Hirsch, and Mary Wittenberg - celebrating that George's finish to run the fastest 10-miler ever ran on Bronx Soil for an 80-year old man @ 1-hr 31-minutes.
Dennis Kimetto has always promised to do so, and yesterday he did so - insane timing. 2:02 is unbelievable and yes, in less than 20-years we will see a Sub 2-hr Kenyan. Think how long Densamo's 2:06:50 was the beesknees... The big question is can Kimetto hold his form from 2013 till 2016? Next up is Rita Jeptoo 2:17 in Chicago.
09/26 I do wonder, if I was an African who had seen the poverty of my country, if I could rent a residence that would not even be my primary residence, for $40,000 per month. LINK Just wondering...
09/24 This weekend Mr. George Hirsch is running the Bronx 10-miler at the grand age of 80! For me this is amazing, but then I will remind him (as I hope to be there with him) that the great Al Gordon ran his first marathon at the age of 82!
It is 37 days till the NYC Marathon, America's greatest one day sporting event and the first year of the TCS sponsorship. But before that we have the Berlin and a few others. Thanks to Don Favre who is running Berlin and has raised over $5,000 for Shoe4Africa.
Last year it was a world record run by Wilson Kipsang, of Kenya.
I am glad to see Grete's Gallop is continuing after the withdrawal of the Norwegian Embassy - the race is now sponsored by Memorial Sloan Kettering - so I am expecting to see Mark Bilsky out there!Not really a plant person but I must say I like Orange Tulips - is that the national emblem of Holland?Meanwhile running news - Bedan Karoki, from Nyahururu, same tribe as Sammy Wanjiru, wins the Philadelphia half in 59:23 - ironic that the Philadelphia half event is much better than the Philadelphia Full where you you would not get runners like Karoki in the field. Karoki debuted at the Half earlier this year starting off with a 59-minute run! His goal is the WR and he'll probably get it. Not sure if they are counting this run as the course record for Philadelphia, or they are keepign the drugs-fueled runner Matthew Kisorio's run of 58-minutes. Kisorio is back racing after serving a 2-year doping ban and says his goal is the WR - one impartially hopes the drugs runner doesn't get the record, and that the race directors don't invite them.
09/19 In an email today from CON ED (NYC's power company) - 'Is your old refrigerator or freezer just not cutting it anymore? We' ll pick it up and recycle it for free, and give you $50. Plus, get an additional $50 rebate when you upgrade to a qualifying energy-saving model.' What? Can you believe it? The struggles I had with my monster sized fridge, when I tried to get it out of my apartment, when it was too heavy so I tried to take the friedge to pieces with a hammer, when I hit something that released some weird sort of gas, when I had to run to the computer, fire up the Internet and ask Google if I was going to be poisoned! And I could have had someone come and take it away? And be paid? Good for Con Ed.
09/17 In Seattle, drinking a cup of Gevalia coffee, French Roast - possibly the best coffee one can get. I am humming Sade's Coast to Coast. Working on a laptop and not for the first time getting distracted. I was trying to win a competition a friend of mine sent me the link for One.org -- then I found out it had to be an African registered charity, founded in the African states. Funny the last Grant I applied for, a European one, told me that "It did not look good to fund an American charity for work in Africa..."
I tell you you seriously can't win in this game! Meanwhile I push on regardless of all the pitfalls, side jams and mamajamas. In fact I am seriously planning to add another floor - Dental & Eye! So I will be searching my contacts to see who I know in that department!
Meanwhile other good news is that I am planning to build more toilets, in Naibery; just outside of Eldoret.
Athletics - The Continental Cup was held recently, where athletes run for... their continents. It was another major flop for the crowds as the athletes performed before thousands upon thousands of empty seats. The Athletics world needs the NBA.
09/12 Yesterday I was called for Jury Duty so I was in the financial district... as I was 13-years ago. At 8:15 I ran past the World Trade Center, past Century 21 and East to go and meet LQD. We were running when the "noise" happened. And we walked, jogged towards the noise and a spiral of smoke. LQD had an apartment on Rector Place, and I was looking after an apartment for a friend on 35 West Broadway - 100-meters away... The smoke, the smell the burning. So sad for so many people that were inside the building... and all the firemen who walked into the buildings to help; so many not coming out.
So as I left the court house, cut west to go over onto the WSH many memories, too many, came back of that bright September morning when NYC changed forever.
West Broadway and that apartment looking very different today.
9/11 The 5th Ave mile is coming this weekend - met with Sally Kipyego who is here in NYC. She was the winner of the Half in March. Not sure of who else is running. But for those of you in NYC you can view it live... on 5th Ave.Today is the long awaited verdict for the Oscar Pist. case. What a drama; am guessing Guilty.
09/09 American football 'idols' -- I was riding the NYC subway and read the free newspaper that of course highlights the scandal stories. I read about a football player with a 35-million dollar contract who slugged his wife and knocked her out cold, and spat at her. He received a two game ban.
Then reading this article a name I had not heard for a while who I presumed had been banned -- Michael Vick, a man who "pleaded guilty to running an illegal dog fighting operation that was so ghastly, the losers were drowned, electrocuted or shot" -- I was shocked to see this man playing for a NY team. Disgusting. What a sick man. One can surmise that the NY Jets will probably extend a welcoming hand out to Ray Rice.
09/07 Amazing lady! at the age of 99 running like... amazing! well done.
09/06 Sad that time ran out for Joan Rivers; a legend of the Upper East Side. I spent a morning with her a few years ago. She was a hoot, I was surprised how tiny she was as I had seen her on TV. She actually lived right opposite Shmuel's apartment, and she had a 'tavern-on-the-green' living room by the looks of it. The funeral is tomorrow in the 60's - I hope she gets a fab send off!
Shoe4Africa Germany! Great to see this article and see us growing out globally! The article is here, in German. [link]Tomorrow is the Great North Run - Abel Kirui wanted to run but he was told 'no' he could not. There is a huge misconception that if you are an elite athlete, like Abel a double world marathon champion', that you can enter a race (even when not requesting an appearance fee) yet the truth is far from that. In the women's race Mary Keitany is making an appearance, Vs Edna Kiplagat, and Vs Dibaba. The talk on the street in Iten (Mary's home, and Edna's) from the male athletes is that Spencer Barden is going a step too far in trying to get one home town winner after Mo Farah failed to win last year. Personally I don't think Mo is trying to dodge anyone (As the athletes, or certainly many of the vocal ones, are saying). Mo is a class athlete and would be above such a thing. But race directors have been known to 'try' for a certain result. There was a certain Spanish incident when a famous Kenyan athlete was paid to not win, and paid a bonus if he woulf finish behind a local athlete (according to him)...
Anyway the rationale is a few of the world's fastest half marathoners could not get into the race (so is their word), so the news now sadly is that Mo is dodging them!
Lornah Kiplagat got a taste of this treatment when she tried to win (another) Mini marathon in NYC in 2004 and the race stated it wanted an American winner and did not invite any foreign athlete... so it got an American winner! And this year when there was indeed an American winner running against an International field the press wrote, "The first American winner since Deena Kastor won in 2004" which was indeed trus but did not really tell the whole story - Anyway, the race is tomorrow and I personally hope that Mo wins, because I happen to believe he's the best distance runner in the world, male or female, for the last two years.
Anyway leading the Kenyan charge are two guys in the PACE management team who probably won't fly Jambojet again - inside joke from a previous race for them... Jambojet gets you there? Unless you do domestic travel in Kenya and know how Jambojet works!
09/05 GINO STRADA, an Italian who founded Emergency Italia. An amazing man who I had the honor to meet a few years ago.
The years trundle by, but the memories remain! Thanks to my friend Riccardo. Web link = here
Back from Iten, but a day beforeI left I was talking and walking along with Timo when I bumped into Sally walking along the street. She's coming to NYC for the 5th Ave mile next week! A global world - nice when you say goodbye and a collective see you soon works. Sally is part of the new generation and proved that resoundingly with an Olympic silver in London.
09/03 Nice little off the cuff article about running and with a plug for Super coach Claudio - LINK in East Africa's top newspaper.
Modern cell phones have this thing that changes your spelling - especially when in Kenya. I was sending a text to Sharon Cherop - it was supposed to read Hakuna Shida (no probs) but instead it came out as Hakuna Shoes. Sharon was thinking I needed shoes! Look out for Sharon, in Shoes running Rwanda and then Frankfurt.
In Berlin Shoe4Africa have a team of mainly Germans here's my squad! 5740 Bettag, Urban (GER)
12951 Harding, Bob (GBR)
F4790 Koj, Anna (POL)
17201 Kugler, Michael (GER)
21943 Osmark, Leif (DEN)
23913 Reinhold, Jean Pierre (GER)
26424 Seppälä, Timo (FIN)
30313 Wiedenmann, Axel (GER) -- thanks!In Iten the High Altitude Training College is opening - run & study! Prof. Mike Boit is working hard with Starbucks & Simba to get this thing going. Good to see Mike, have not seen him for a few years, a Nandi legend.
08/28 In the days when we were red:
Here's Eugenia Yuen, a friend of Leong's who I believe has a book coming out soon. First year we were odd color green, then red, then I think we have been grey or white.
Wondering whether we need a separate web page for Shoe4Africa and the Shoe4Africa Hospital? If so what would the hospital site be called??
08/26 An old picture from a few years ago. At Edna's house in Iten, with her mother. Edna Kiplagat is today the 2-time world marathon champion.
We are in the 'winter' now in Kenya. In fact last night was freezing with buckets of rain. Luckily in business hours it was dry hence I got around Eldoret before the floods. Luckily now with the roof secured work progresses regardless of the weather. Although it was a swamp to get back in the car. Tomorrow, I believe, we are having a top-off ceremony to celebrate the roof being complete!What is the future of running? Will Kenya lead the way? We think so [link]
A typical picture of Africa. In one glance the location is set.
Back from a day in Nairobi - glad to see new roads built, but driving out on a Friday afternoon was a drag. We got from Eldoret to Westlands in under four hours thanks to a speedy prado on the Eldama Ravine route. Getting back that evening was a trip. However in Nairobi I met the CEO of Equity Bank - James Mwangi, Ernst & Young's entrepeuner of the year 2012, as I say, 'google him' - a pretty amazing guy. Then it was off to the Office of the Deputy President whom I met the last time I was in Kenya. This time it was to meet the Chief of Staff. Good meets. The day before in Eldoret I met the people behind private health, the CEO's of Mediheal, Eldoret Hospital, Reale Hospital & St. Lukes. I am starting to feel like a medic.
Running wise our neighbor is entered in Birmingham today, in the 600m - Mr. Rudisha, representing Iten.
08/20 Used to be a time of daily updates.. used to be a time of running focused news - these days it is more of medical people, and politicians... although I keep on running into a lot of running peeps here. In fact just yesterday I met Martin Keino whilst in a restaurant having a meeting about children hospital murals with a guy from Indiana. Met Brother Colm - always great to catch up with him, a friend of twenty years. Then a lot of Governor's, Deputy Govs, Senators blah blah as we are one year into the building. The only way I can keep in touch with what I am doing is scrolling back on my phone and seeing calls/meetings. This is quite a journey I can tell you. Almost every day I am in Eldoret for work and getting bored with the commute (two dead cows on the road today, cut off by two matatu's - all the usual). Today a friend from the medical world in Nairobi is visiting - Priten. Introduced to me by Chucky China - small world!
To a flashback picture when the Virgin London marathon kindly sent me 3500 marathon jackets and we gave them away in a village near Kitale. They did a great thing - the people were so pleased.
A day in the life... Arrived in Nairobi, I turned on my Kenya phone, that had been switched off for a while and the phone rings like magic - it is Daniel Komen, the runner from the 90's. I am surprised, weird coincidence he should call at that instant. Met Manu Chandaria, one of Kenya's most influential business men. He is going to Mombasa for business. Jumped on a plane to Eldoret, met Kip Keino, the running legend who started the Kenya-running theme back in the 1960's, got off the plane in ED and ran into Wilson Kipsang who is looking very fit and well. We went to Iten, and I went and had dinner with Lornah Kiplagat (the Simba). Cold in Kenya - well all is relative.
At the Paul Tergat race in Baringo, Kenya with Moses Tanui, and Paul. Actually I went there with Ezekiel Kemboi now I remember, and there was a whole host of athletes there coming not just to run but also to support Paul's event. Another athlete had a bad car crash later that night, the man finished third in the race can't recall his name. memories.
Kenya finished top in the commonwealth games medals... for athletics (what counts). No doubt they did not win the syncro-swimming awards. Powerhouse Jamaica were @ #2.Meanwhile we hear there is a phone app that wards off mosquitoes no less! I was shocked when someone showed me the app that reads your heart rate. I thought phones were for answering.With Kev at Harlem Social -- a man runs by with a gun and disappears down a subway... followed by about twenty police cars who then started darting off in every direction that the subway ran.
Next day I met Jon & Summer to talk S4A stuff - on the Upper West Side at Josie's things were a little quieter... noticed that they have interesting table bread there these days (And better salmon than at Harlem Social).
I had the idea that he man would not be drunk, in a nightclub, brawling... the Oscar Circus in South Africa continues... [link]
Meanwhile a much more positive read about a double amputee - [link].
Every time another 'athlete' gets caught for cheating with drugs you wonder how long has she managed to evade the testing system. Of course they will tell you "It's the first time" but when you read a world champion from Botswana tests positive at the Commonwealth Games you do wonder - Amantle Montsho appears to have shamed a nation.
08/02 Congrats to Lynsey Sharp of Scotland winning he commonwealth games 800m -- yet another athlete who trains at HATC in Iten, Kenya. Great to see Eunice take gold - another of Claudio Berardelli's athletes.
As part of Shoe4Africa we are looking at starting a running camp for Junior talents. Just trying to get the pieces into shape to hold a Bi-annual camp and start the club. Of course using the talents of people like Claudio! Also Moses Kiptanui, coach to so many top athletes, and Haron Lagat, the best steeplechase pacer on the circuit. We have the location, near Cherangani - now we need the support, but we have some ideas.
07/29 Agreeing with Elias Makori - Bahrain bringing Kenyan's under the age of 18 to "win" glory for their country should be addressed. It is a real odd scenario. Maybe a simple step of having the athlete being able to identify the national anthem would be a step in the right direction - something the Asian marathon champion, Shami (of Kenya) was unable to do - and he was a senior.
Mary Wittenberg, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and moi at the Achilles 5-miler in Central Park. Was this really one month ago?
Givedirectly - 2.4 million grant from? New? This is an old and tried concept; President Moi made a Nyayo legacy of driving around giving Hand outs in the 1980's & 90's What is new? Meanwhile... with new initiatives South Korea pulled itself out of poverty by investing in business, healthcare, and education. Givedirectly appears to be moving backwards; making the poor more reliant on waiting for handouts in a form of lottery giving. link
PS: I am all for injecting more cash into Africa, do not get me wrong. I spoke with a headmistress in Kibera about this type of project - her take? "The West, for its own means, continues to turn our continent into one of beggars waiting for the next boat. I remember the days before Aid handouts - we were so much better off in those days." H. Otieno.
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Thanks to Mother Nature - LINK 12 things you can do with your shoes, and we are number seven.Commonwealth Games - Very disappointing to see only 25 men and 21 women entered in a championship marathon. Live tomorrow morning...Moi Referral gets a new Chairman, they will run the Shoe4Africa Children's Hospital. [link]And since we are linking - The Scarificial Instinct - thanks Amitava! [link]Meanwhile someone made a donation to Shoe4Africa for the children's hospital. They tried to get a matchign gift from Johnson & Johnson. The compnay snet me a letter to tell me that this is not possible because they support certain missions, like Child Welfare, and Shoe4Africa does not fit inside their mission - hm, go figure!
07/23 In light of the Commonwealth Games starting we suggest a link - watch 100 seconds [link] with Brother Colm & David Rudisha.Meanwhile in the world juniors we hear that Bahrain has been importing Kenyan juniors, read more in the Daily Nation. An article entitled the scent of oil.
07/13 So the life has been heavily influenced by watching football - what a great tournament and truly there is only One world cup. I think the result was spot on too - the best two teams got to meet each other and there was not much between them at all. Funnily enough I think I have only seen two 'live' games in my life (I am an armchair fan, and a bad one at that - much prefer to do the sport than to watch). Anyway, a long, long time ago I saw Sheffield United play. and who was playing but Alejandro Sabella - in those days he was called Alex. Meanwhile over in Brazil, my S4A team
I saw a nice documentary by a guy called Tom Shadyac who was the director of quite a few hit comedies till he had a bicycle accident and started to ask Life Questions -- worth watching; I AM.
David Rudisha hits form and becomes the big media game of the Commonwealth Games! Brother Colm's most famous athlete and that is saying something.
07/07 A nice article where I was quoted...[link]World Cup Fever - after wathcing virtually zilch we watched the whole of the quarters... Holland Vs Costa Rica, the best so far! Funny other huge sporting events go on, but does anyone notice? This must be the year of the un-noticed other sports.
07/03 Sad to say that Track & Field is now the new Tour de France - the BBC, tongue in cheek, report on the Lausanne 100m race pointing out the joke of modern day track. Tyson Gay, gets a ban then gets off with a slap on the wrist, Gaitlin had two positive tests, a lifetime ban, and somehow is still competing,a nd to top things off the guy who finished third also was banned...
What message is this sending out to young athletes? We want to keep the 'names' in the sport? This is the opposite to Zero Tolerance.
Here is the 'reason' why Gay got a 50% reduction in his 2-year ban, "We appreciate Tyson doing the right thing by immediately withdrawing from competition once he was notified, accepting responsibility for his decisions, and fully and truthfully co-operating with us," said Usada chief executive Travis Tygart. So basically take drugs, get caught and say I did it and you get a season out? Sad.
07/01 July '14 - who would have believed it? Last night my freind Shmuel and his wife Anat took me out to SushiAnn - a top Japanese place off Madison at 52nd ST - if you like the best raw fish then this is an absolute great place. It is my second time and the quality is fab! Shmuel was telling me about a billion dollar company he owns quite a lot of call Mobila (or something) that has technology to make cars safer. It is an Israeli company that is going public later this month, in about three weeks. I shall be watching out... that after he gets back from going to Brazil for three days to watch the finals, courtesy of Hyundai.Funny, I am actually trying to learn the fish market, on a small scale - tilapia... long story, to do with the hospital and sorts.
06/30 Thanks to all who came and made the Hope & Possibility such a great event. Good album of photos on the NYRR.org website. The Attorney General of NY & Jon Stewart (now his third time of running), along with the Singing Policeman, and Cigna's Dave F. gave the Achilles a good send off before most ran the 5-mile loop and others completed our 1.5-mile Fun Run, then of course the Kids had their dash. It was a good running morning with blue skies and sun! The day started very early, almost everything went smooth, and we were wrapped up by noon. Thanks to all the sponsors & supporters.Later that day I went to dinner with my friends Wendy, Ben & KT all the way over in NYC from California at Chez Lucienne -- they are great S4A supporters, helpers and good friends!6/27 Dinner last night at the house of my good friend George Hirsch's. We sat out overlooking Central Park on his amazing view balcony. Read about George on a wonderful post by Amby Burfoot of RW [LINK]
NYC continues at its best right now, Harlem streets were buzzing with gospel music. It continues to be hot and humid. Last night I finally turned on my fan as it was stifling (I don't have air conditioning). Some people pay to go to a gym and lie in the sauna - just don't turn on your AC and stay in bed.
Yes we have a sponsor! Thanks to Caroline & Jason (good friends to S4A), and remember this face...
In ten years... fleet feet. Can we change her life?
Hope & Possibility is closed online but open for walk in registrations at the NYRR.
06/26 Jon Stewart promises to be there for the Achilles race on Sunday, just heard him say so via the Vid at the Achilles Gala last night. He is running again.
Full of inspiring stories; so many people who have been dealt life changing blows, but have got back up. The Achilles continues to Inspire. AS we mentioned before the Attorney General and the former Governor of NY, David Paterson, will also be coming to meet, greet and run
Meanwhile political news here in Harlem--Charlie Rangel rebuffs primary challenger to win 23rd House term. Charlie is a Harlem institution. I met Alan of the Flyers earlier for a glass of pineapple juice and he was bringing me up to date with the opposition, who seems to have fallen by the way side. Charlie, 84 years young, gets two more years.
Thursday is the last day to sign up for the Achilles race at the NYRR.org - we hope to sell out and are very close. Askale Merachi from Ethiopia is tipped to win the women's open division. This is the race that nearly always has some interesting folks - we know we have the AG and a Governor, plus we might have a couple of others in the mix!Great hot weather in NYC right now - just nice, this is the greatest time in the city, so much going on. You walk through Central Park and a million things are going on all over the place.Big evevnts are the world cup - can David Rudisha & Mo Farah push the Commonwealth Games into really being called a global event? The Scots think so. If U.Bolt would turn up they would be in business.Philip Hersh, Tribune reporter tells that Rita Jeptoo is back to Chicago for the fall marathon. No surprises there. If she maintains the Boston form she will be the one.06/22 My Canadian friends took me out on Saturday - first the maker of the Film Gun Runners which will be coming out next year, thanks Anjali! Then Chris, Dev & Kathleen who made me feel like a foreigner in NYC as we went to a musical about 1980's Rock music called 'rock the ages' -- I think I was the only person in the audience who did not know the songs, plus I had a hard time trying to fathom what the people were saying (singing). It was a case of study hard to watch what was going on; so I felt like I was in a decade class history lesson, learning something! For the first time I felt like a foreigner as that area of NYC is almost like another town -- Times Square, more unique than ever before. Gotta love NYC.Sunday I was up, up in the Northern Bronx in a place called Pelham - again, put me outside of my normal circle and I feel like a square. And that was a writing project... What films, musicals and writings; I am become cultured!
"Take your pick, which pair do you want?"
This young girl won the Kibuswa Cross Country run in a sprint finish. She stood for quite a while not really knowing what to do. I believe she will grow up to be a talented runner. If you would wish to sponsor her, mentor her through her athletics career, send her shoes once every six months and other sports gear then let me know! You could change this girl's life. Her parents are poor farm workers from the North of Kenya.
Happy Birthday Mr. George Hirsch - 80-years!! The Chairman of the NYRR is also one of America's greatest age group runners. I coached George back when he was 73 and ran 3:30 at Berlin - big talent and he's going out to the Queens 10k on Sunday to, I guess, win there! I've known George since the early nineties; a most remarkable chap. Mary Wittenbery threw a surprise birthday party for him with a luncheon at the new Tavern on the Green. My take on the food - well I had a Greek Salad (value for money was very low - check out what you get!), cheesecake - was the size of a thimble, maybe order three? Coffee - benefit of the doubt, I did ask twice for strong but maybe it was delivered as decaf, and I had three scoops of Sorbet - one scoop, the raspberry was good!
However the decor and setting are great - the new design so much better than the old gawdy set up and it helped there was beautiful sunshine.
A few days earlier I was at the Harlem Red Rooster, which has become the destination restaurant in Harlem - check it out on 125th & Lennox. Marcus Samuelsson has done something tremendous there and also inspired other great places too to step up - The Corner Social opposite, Chez Lucienne next door and I have not visited but close by a new place called the Harlem Shake. Of course there is the old landmark place if you like Southern fried food too - Sylvia's.
Few days before I was meeting my friend Chris, we were at Tony's on Third Ave & 65th - you do not leave hungry from that place. In fact you order halves...
A rather frightening strong from Douglas, a member of the NYC running community that moved away, and is thankfully recovered after a very alarming story. [LINK]06/20 I was wandering around the mid sixties the other day - I love NYC is the Summer. Such a differing feel to the winter. Out of all the cities in the world NYC is so flavorful of contrastting people - I realize this more and more how everyone fits in in NYC in every neighborhood.Up to Yonkers two days ago to visit Afya a medical supply team who have a great Org set up there in the middle of nowhere. The last time I was in Yonkers I went to run a half marathon there and I discovered monumental hills, beyond hills! The part I remember the best was the lady with the Sledge hammer who came running at us when we asked her for directions. I was with Urs, newly transplanted from Switzerland, and we were in his wife's very nice car. She was not a happy camper; luckily we escaped.One week to the H&P 5-miler. It is Sunday and the sign up is on the NYRR.org - quick!
06/17 A good off-the-wall story about Kenyan runners (link)and what are they doing with impacts for society. And the story highlights the Charles character who became a Kenyan youtube hit after a post race interview.
The British Guardian take a photo of a lady in a unit collecting recycled trash and make a blazing headline, "The woman in the bin is the ugly truth..." Yes poms please stay away from NYC as you would find the same here - and we call it industry. [link].Sad news over in Kenya at the coast as terror continues with an attack at a resort hotel where people were relaxing just watching football. Sadly terrorists always pick on unarmed innocent citizens -- seems to be the way they play.Running news -- David Rudisha was back to his winning ways despite starting his comeback form. Watch out in Monaco on July 18th when he expects to be... Rudisha!Less than two weeks to the Hope & Possibility; the summer's favorite feel good run in Central Park. Sign up at wwww.nyrr.org - thanks!
06/14 MINI Marathon -- I watched the Mini Marathon this morning in Central Park. The park was very quiet, sad a world class road race like this does not attract more interest. Linet Masai gave a display of 'born to run' form with one of the longest strides in the biz. I only saw a couple of miles, but hear she finished third (fourth!) to the inform Ethiopian lady Damska and Molly Huddle. This is the first USA win in ages in an open race. In 2004 Deena won, but in that year no foreigners were invited to run as it was an Olympic promo for USA runners only.
It was funny, like setting the clock back 10-years and waking up to find you are still in the same place. The times were not Lornah/Paula-esque with 31:37 but it was nice and humid out there as NYC tends to be. Good to see Delilah, Diane from Burundi, Deena still out there, and also spotted was Mary Wittenberg, a leader of the Women's running, running the race too.
World Cup -- Can't understand why people are surprised that Holland are doing so well. They should have won the last world cup and will win this one. I do hope, for global development, that we get no repeat of the 201o Euro dominance. I don't see Brazil winning, and it would be great if an African nation could get in the last four. So far it is Holland/Germany 3-1, or 2-1 if the draw allows.
06/10 In transport... meanwhile Alfa Romeo have the greatest car race - you must go from one city to another and the winner is the one with the least fuel consumed. Save Fuel - there's a theme.
06/09 Wow, another time out. Distracted, lots and lots going on. Meanwhile we are doing a push for the Hope & Possibility 5M and I am glad to say we are nearing full capacity so please sign up quickly and support. Come run the month's most inspirational run in the city andf support the Achilles.
Lots of stuff going on with the hospital... more.
05/25 Saw the results of the world relays - pretty sad that just four teams entered for the women's 4 x 1500. Great running by the Kenyans to dominate and win in a new world record. No surprise Kenya also won the men's 800m... I think if there is any future in this event there has to be better marketing else it will die out. Two teams in next year?In the running news another resident of Iten returns to winning ways - Mary Keitany, winnning in a Canadian 10k. Will we see her in NYC in the fall?
05/24 Used to be running with the Born to Run, then it was Running with the Kenyans, and now it is Running with the Chinese! Thanks to Jim for the link [link] Nice pictures taken by the High Altitude camp go to www.lornah.com to get your booking.
No food reviews someone asked - geez, correct. These days I can't keep up - but went to Vabene on Second Ave 82nd ST - my comment here was 'when you say the meal comes with Roasted potatoes and you serve just one please change the wording of your menu. I did get four carrots, mini ones the size of a thumbnail!
Speaking of which I got a salad the other day at Park Central (another meeting lunch) and literally they served four slices of chicken on 7 leaves of lettuce with mayonnaise smeared over the top. I think I could become a chef!
Planning the next Hope and Possibility, that is June 29th and SAVE the date also for a Summer's Night 5k - Wednesday 10th Sept at 7pm and enjoy a drink overlooking he Hudson afterwards! It is going to be great - Riverside Park, Manhattan. 09/10/2014 - the 4th Annual Shoe4Africa 5k05/19
Sad video showing the sorry state of some Kenyan athletes. Sad also for me as I tried to help one of these guys, but it did not work out. Also sad that this is a recent video, but since the footage came out I hear that Sammy Chepkok "digger" has died. [link].
Tomorrow I will post a picture of happier times when Kwambai and Chepkok were at the top of their game.
Glad to hear that Paula Radcliffe will run the London Marathon next year - the greatest. A woman way ahead of her time!Met with Don Favre who used to come to the track. His friend Ron Greve raised $1,000 for Shoe4Africa; what a nice guy! He was impressed at our operations. Plus he raised some more for us earlier too! Looks like another toilet project.
05/15 Have a vision, and I act upon it.
I see NYC is considering the 2024 bid for the Olympics - and why not? I would start a group called the fifth circle, I would hire people of vision, I would watch the 2012 London bid and boom, there's the secret.
Talking of big boom's a big congrats to Jim Wilkinson who has graduated to the globe's #1 company right now, bigger than a facebook, bigger than google and ebay and all the rest - Alibaba. Congrats to Jim who is a Shoe4Africa board member. [link]Talking to Boston Marathon winner Wesley Korir who is in training fro a marathon in ten days - we are both looking to improve the same area and looking to athletics as this area is the hot bed of distance running. And a way to get education and a career.Little facts - walked past Odetta's house today in Harlem...
05/13 One of Kenya's major stories was he Lunatic Express. A railway that ran from Mombasa to Uganda. I will second the lunatic part having ran from Mombasa to Kilimanjaro (and jumping over train tracks). Well the Chinese have launched a massive rebuild - Boom - Lunatic Express rebirth. Looks like a great project.Every day is different at Shoe4Africa - today one kind soul offered me office space, and a mass of it too in an old 1928 Shoe factory - how fitting that would have been and it is a massive 170,000 Sq foot. Thanks Steve! More news on the link