Monthly Archives: July 2008

Running and Your Faith

Mike Ratliff a Christian blogger wrote an interesting article about Christian faith and marathon running.

He begins by reminding Christians that a Christian walk is a race, but it is not a sprint nor is it a mile, It is a marathon.

Dealing with self doubts

The more I read the post the more I reflected on how similar a marathon is to a Christian life. As a runner I have faced temptations just like Jesus faced temptation 40 days in the wilderness. The difference between Jesus temptation and our temptation as runners is Jesus was fighting the devil/satan while in our case the battle is against our doubts and fear. The temptation to give up is strong especially at the 20 mile mark when you have run out of glycogen. It is my determination to finish that keeps me going.

Mike advices that you learn to be Spirit-filled; then as you draw near to the finish line you will discover that there will be multitudes awaiting you, cheering you on as you cross that finish line.

Running with God

At the start of a marathon I have seen many runners make a sign of the cross before the race. If you are a man or woman of faith, believing that God is behind you might keep you going.

Have a blessed sunday

Have a “Quickie” Wedding at Las Vegas Marathon

The Las Vegas Marathon is promoted as “Only in Vegas” experience. It is the only marathon in the world with a  run through wedding chapel,

Last year 55 couples got a taste of the world famous “quickie” wedding at Vegas when they tied the knot at the chapel located at Mile 5 Run-Thru Wedding Chapel.The 3 minute ceremony was led by Pastor Jamie Firzlaff, who stopped to perform the ceremony while running the Half Marathon.

Other unique features at Las Vegas marathon are  hundred of Elvis Wannabes and music performances in secret locations on the course. This is one marathon were you can never be bored!

If you are a hardcore runner and plan to tie the knot this year, you can do it at Las vegas marathon. For the married, the organisers provide an opportunity to  renew your vows. This year’s  marathon will take place on 7th December  2008 and You can register at the official Las Vegas marathon site.

2007 Men’s winner Christopher Cheboiboch of Kenya summed up “Only in Vegas Experience” when he said “This city is a desert, but I ran in paris today, I saw New York. It’s amazing to come here for the first time, then win the race.”

Khat: Kenya Top Recreational Drug

During the 2004 Summer Olympic games in Athens, Kenyan Boxer, David Munyasia was the first athlete to be found in violation of International Olympic Committee anti-doping rules.

The IOC announced that Munyasia, a bantamweight, had tested positive for cathine. He was immediately barred from participating in the Games and he got into the next flight back home.

Everyone in Kenya was shocked by the news and when Munyasia denied ever using a drug, we all believed the boxer was innocent.

But when the Kenya team doctor explained that Cathine was a chemical found in Khat, I got my suspicion that Munyasia was guilty. Khat is a plant that is chewed by many young men in Kenya. Although Khat is illegal in many parts of the world, it’s legal in Kenya. Munyasia later admitted he was a regular user of Khat.

In Kenya it is popularly known as Miraa,  a stimulant that causes excitement and euphoria. Almost every young man I know has chewed it at one time during his time in High school. What makes it a drug of choice for many youth is that it is cheap, widely available and has no serious side effects. It’s popularity in this country is second to cigarettes.

When Munyasia was nabbed there was no vicious condemnation in the media like we saw when Marion Jones admitted to drug use. Everyone just told him a polite “sorry” we knew he was a victim of his own innocence. The bad guys here were the officials of National Olympic organizing committee who did not warn the boxer on what he can or can’t chew.

When Munyasia chewed the plant he was just young man having a good time and he had no idea the plant would get him in trouble.

Steve Jobs : New Balance 992 Sneakers and Why He Never Quits

Steve Jobs is the CEO of Apple Inc, the makers of the Ipod, the music device that many runners cannot live without.

While many business executive wear suits, Jobs usually wears a black long-sleeved mock turtleneck made by St. Croix, Levis 501 blue jeans, and New Balance 992 sneakers.

Steve Jobs has led a dramatic life, a college drop out, he started a business at 20, at 30 he was sacked from the company he founded and in 1996 the prodical son returned back to to the company he founded.

Finding Your Love

In 2002 Steve Jobs spoke at graduation ceremony at Stanford University and reflected on what kept him going during challenging times “I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going is that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.” He continued to stress the importance of “finding something you love” and “following your own inner voice.”

When you are doing what you love you will never give up! This applies to relationship, business and running.

Watch Steve Jobs Inspiring speech

5 Things that Could Go Wrong at Beijing Summer Olympics

If you are planning to travel to Beijing Summer Olympics this August I think you need to have a look at a post by Slate website, A disaster guide for the Beijing Summer Olympics. The article is well over the top but I enjoyed it for it’s entertainment value.

This is what I think about some of the issues mentioned in the post.

1. Pollution

In April the head of design at Asics sports visited Beijing to survey the marathon route when he was asked about the Beijing air “I couldn’t see beyond 150 meters” he said. But the report coming from Beijing is that, chemical plants will be shut down, construction projects frozen and half the cars ordered off the road. Even Ethiopian Haile Gebreselassie who withdrew from the marathon due to pollution fears seems to appreciate the progress Beijing is making. He recently requested to be included in the Ethiopian marathon team but his request was politely turned down.

2. Tibet

Olympic games celebrate humanity, Beijing should do the unexpected, invite Dalai Lama to Beijing Summer Olympics.

2. Terrorism

China is good in many things, one of them is dealing with trouble makers.

3. Rain

There are fears of a down pour.  The government plans to stop the rain by firing silver iodide rockets into the sky in the hope of wringing water from the clouds before they soak the opening ceremony. If China has invented a technology to control rain they should share it with Africa to solve the problem of floods.

4. Visa Issue

To travel to China you require to present invitation letters, airline tickets, proof of hotel arrangement.  This is one reason why anyone planning to travel to Beijing Summer games needs to plan early.

5. Food.

Dog meat has been taken off the menu, so no one should worry being served dog meat passing  as beef. But if you want to experience the Chinese culture you can have a cut of dog meat. Chinese have eaten dog meat for centuries and it has never made them grow a tail.

To everyone travelling to Beijing Summer Olympics “See it! Feel it! Be it!”

How the Unique Beijing Marathon Course Could Decide The Winner

I was asked by bull runner who do I think will win the Mens and Women Beijing Olympic Marathon? Being a Kenyan I will be naturaly biased and go for the Kenyan dream team of Robert Cheruiyot and Martin Lel.

To know who between Robert Cheruiyot and Martin Lel will win, I decided to have a look at Beijing marathon course. Different courses favour different athletes.

According to the Official Beijing Olympic Site, The marathon will begin at Tian’anmen Square and end at the National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest.

The head of design at Asics sports went to China in April for the Beijing Marathon. He found the course to be flat but composed of various surfaces, including stone (that could cause slipping); newly paved asphalt (which will increase the heat); and concrete that appeared harder than Japanese concrete (perhaps because Beijing’s main roads are meant to accommodate tanks and other military vehicles).

A flat course would favour Martin Lel who is known for his sprint finish but going by the observation of Asic’s man, the difficult road conditions might just favour Robert (Mwafrika) Cheruiyot.

Robert is the twice winner of Boston marathon, it’s hills make it one of the toughest marathons in the world. Incidentally, the stamina he has gained from Boston hill runs might just have prepared him for Olympic glory.

On August 24th  2008 I expect to see the very tall dark Robert to be the first man to enter the Bird’s nest.

As for the women, I don’t see how Catherine Ndereba will beat the Japanese ladies. While Ndereba trains in the clean highland air in Kenya, the Japanese female runners will have the advantage of training in the bad Beijing air.

Bull Running in Spain

When I wrote my post “the best running races this month“, I forgot to include the running event happening at San Fermin Festival in Pamplona Spain.

I love running alone, another runner loves running in a group, and other runners love running with their dog. But for some runners in Spain, THEY GET A KICK FROM RUNNING WITH BULLS. Eeh! we are all different.


Gentlemen: Start your engines


Here I come




Dont try this at home


Yah! thats me, I love this game!

Pictures courtesy of cool pictures website. Visit the site for more drama

The festival attracts ten of thousand foreign runners. Fourteen runners have died in the running of the bulls since record-keeping began in 1924.

Fourteen runners have died in the running of the bulls since record-keeping began in 1924.The fiesta, which ends July 14, is known also for its all-night street parties.

Hypothermia: Dangers of Running under Extreme Cold Rain

It was Dalai Lama who said ” When you are faced with a question on right and wrong you need to rely on your common sense, conscious and scientific knowledge”

Today morning I had to decide whether to run or not to run. It was raining heavily outside and running under rain looked like a romantic idea but I decided against running under the cold rain because the last time I ran under rain my legs felt tired and my lungs kept panting. I returned back to the house midway the run!

What is Hypothermia?

When the body is exposed to extreme weather condition like cold rain water, the risk of hypothermia goes up.

Hypothermia is the rapid and drastic chilling of the body’s core temperature (normally 98.6 degrees F) during adverse conditions, and begins when the body loses heat faster than it can be replaced.

As the body temperature drops because of exposure to cool air and cold water, things begin to happen in a predictable sequence. As one’s temperature drops, the heart begins to slow, and the victim becomes weak and confused as less oxygen is delivered throughout the body.

When oxygen is not delivered to your leg muscles, the muscles can’t relax and contract efficiently and running becomes difficult.

Protecting yourself from Hypothermia

You can do what I did, be reasonable and cancel your running plan.

Cathereine With Body ProtectionOn my way to work every morning I meet with elite Kenyan runners training under cold rain. They are always dressed in heavy jacket, gloves and a hood over their head and neck. The jacket, glove and hood gear is because, according to sports experts, the greatest heat loss is from the head and neck, The other “hot spots” that lose heat most rapidly are the groin and the sides of the chest.

The historic sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is a dramatic example of hypothermia’s effect. When the great ocean liner started sinking, passengers put on their life jackets and headed for the lifeboats. When rescue ships arrived two hours later, most of the people in the lifeboats were alive, but none of the almost 1,500 people floating in the 32 degree F water (still wearing those life jackets) lived.

Picture: Patrick Cowden/Marathonguide 

Kenyan Runners and Their Love for Vegetable Diet

The most popular question I get from readers about Kenyan runners is “What do Kenyan runners eat?” I have written a post on how the average Kenyan runner grows up in a low calory diet. The answer to what they eat when training is found in a study published by Active website. The study followed a group of 10 elite Kenyan runners over a seven day training period.

According to the study, about 86 percent of daily calories comes from vegetable sources, with 14 percent from animal foods.

As a Kenyan I have to say this heavy reliance on vegie is not a matter of choice but necessity. Because of their short maturity period, vegetables are planted all over Kenya, in farms and gardens. Vegetables are one of the cheapest foods available in Kenya. Foods such as potatoes and meat are expensive and most families cannot afford to buy them on daily basis.

Incidentaly, vegie eating is the secret diet for the best endurance athletes in the world.

The study adds, the Kenyan-runners’ diets were extremely rich in carbohydrate, with 76.5 percent of daily calories coming from carbs. The Kenyans ate about 10.4 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body mass each day, or approximately 4.7 grams per pound of body weight.

Sports-nutrition experts frequently recommend that athletes involved in strenuous training should consume about nine or more grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body mass per day.

During the study, in a day the average Kenyan runner ate an average of 600 grams of carbohydrate and 75 grams of protein (Mainly from plant foods like beans)

The peculiar find of the study was that we Kenyans drink very little water (about 1.113 liters per day), and a Kenyan runner actually tended to drink more tea than water on a daily basis (tea consumption was about 1.243 daily liters)

I remember when I was in high school, one of my classmate never drunk tea because his church prohibited drinking of tea. According to the church, TEA IS A DRUG!

Kenya To Take Two Sprinters To Beijing Olympics

The final list of Kenya’s Beijing Olympic squad was finally presented to IAAF on monday and two names on the list were unexpected. 400m Sprinters, Elizabeth Muthuka and Vincent Mumo surprised me when they were able to achieve the Olympic qualifying mark.

Their success reminded me that there was a time when Kenya athletes were a force in short distances. I checked results of past Olympic games and discovered that in the past, Kenya ranked very well in the 4×400m relay. We won a silver at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, and then a Gold in the 1972 Munich Olympics. Julius Sang also won a bronze in open 400m in the same Munich games.

Elizabeth Muthuka has a Maria Mutola look, She has a muscular build; chiseled shoulders and biceps that would make men her age envious. Until last month, Elizabeth Muthuka was just another struggling athlete but in the last one week, she has broken the Kenyan 400m record which stood for 24 year twice. She is now set for Beijing.

Athletics Kenya has talked about promoting participation in short distance but it has all been talk, the federation has never put money in promoting the sport. Aspiring sprinters like Elizabeth have to struggle by themselves.

Struggling on your own teaches you determination. I hope the determination propels Elizabeth and Vincent to victory in Beijing.