Sad news early this morning as I down loaded my e mails and received the very unfortunate news from running friends in Kenya that Olympic Marathon Champion Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya passed away on the 15th May 2011.
He apparently fell from a balcony in his house and died of internal bleeding.
It is still unclear how this accident happened however Mr Federico Rosa, who was "Sammy" Wanjiru's manager has confirmed his death through news sources.
Wanjiru won the Olympic marathon gold medal in Beijing in 2008 with a time of of 2:06:32. His other marathon victories included Chicago (USA) in 2009 and 2010, Fukuoka (Japan) in 2007, and London Marathon in 2009 amongst many other shorter distant victories and world records.
Wanjiru has had a tough 18 months facing injury as well as personal issues however the athletics and sports world has lost a young 24 year old runner who in the past 6 years left an impressive footprint in running and was sure to add to this in the future.
May he rest in peace -
Festus Langat - a middle and soon to be long distance runner.
Instead of bring running news to you, I thought to write a small caption of a person that I have slowly seen growing and hope will become one of Kenya's Elite in the marathon world. We will follow his progression on bushdrums.com
Festus Langat - a young family man living in the highlands of Kenya.
I had the pleasure of meeting Festus several years ago at a race in Italy and he has over the years developed into a mature middle distance runner having won the Indianapolis half marathon on 2 occasions and last week he came second in the latter race as well as many other national and international races.
Festus trains with his brother and a few friends in Kerichio and is known by the local boys as their coach.
He is one of the best pacemakers out on the field and we had the luck of seeing him at his full potential this March in Rome where he did a splendid job in pulling the race at a good pace to km 25 facing a strong head wind.
His manager Hussein Makke and Massimliano Monteforte (race director of the Rome Marathon) brought Festus to Rome this March where we spent time training, filming a documentary on the negative influences of doping in the running world (the short film called PUROSANGUE - translated "Pureblood" will be launched next year) and generally having fun and a good few laughs around Rome.
This July I will be spending time with him in Iten with a film crew to finish off the documentary and will be able to report how his training is proceeding to start competing in full marathons.
Next year he will start the season by running as an Elite in Rome and attempt to go for the podium; I will be there helping him the whole way. Keep an eye out for Festus Langat - the future Kenyan Champion on www.bushdrums.com
(c) Bushdrums 2011
Kenya mourns loss of distance runner Peter Kiprotich Cherus
Kenyan distance runner Peter Kiprotich Cherus died in a car accident over the weekend. Peter Kiprotich lived in Iten and passed away before reaching hospital due to internal bleeding and head injuries. His death was confirmed by the medical team at Iten hospital and later by his Dutch manager Gerard Van De Veen of Volare Sports in Voorthuizen.
Peter Kiprotich Cherus was one of the pacemakers in 2003 for Paul Tergat when he broke the official world record 2.04.55 and for Haile Gebrselassie who set a new world record in a time of 2:04:26 in Berlin in 2007.
© Bushdrums 2011]]>
Kenyan Patrick Makau won the Berlin 2010 marathon on the 26th September 2010. Rain, fog and humid conditions unfortunately aided in him failing to break Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie's world record.
Patrick Makau finished more than a minute outside the record in a time of two hours five minutes and eight seconds, with compatriot Geoffrey Mutai second, two seconds behind, and 20-year-old Ethiopian Bazu Worku in third in 2:05:25.
Our next Kenyan runner going for the top position is Nixon Kipkoech Machimchim who came third in this years Rome marathon in March. Nixon who I have been in constant contact over the year has been training in his homeland in Kenya and has set his sights to run under 2 hours 8 minutes in Toronto on the 17th October 2010. Should he achieve this - it will be a new record for the Canadian marathon.
(c) Bushdrums.com 2010
Being Kenyan born - it always pleases me to get the latest updates on how our wonderful athletes are slowly dominating the long distance running grounds; both men and women.
9th May 2010 saw the
The athletes woke up to perfect running conditions – slight cloud cover, no wind and temperatures for the 25 k distance remained between 12 and 14 degrees Celsius.
As my friend and ex world champion marathon runner Kassa Tadese would explain to elite runners – “when such perfect running are magically put together on very rare occasions – a well trained athlete must take out the maximum and find that little extra energy from inside to make the difference”.
Samuel Kosgei came in at 1 hour 11 minutes and 50 seconds shattering the word record.
Samuel ran the last Berlin marathon as a pace maker for the current marathon world record holder – Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie (who holds the record of 2 hours 3 minutes and 59 second which he set in September 2008 at the Berlin marathon). Samuel has his mind and heart set for September 2010 –
This will be very a interesting race – Haile running with Samuel – a legend with a man set to re write the running history books….
On the same morning Kenyan elite runner Mary Keitany smashed the women’s 25 k record finishing race with a fantastic time of 1 hour 19 minutes and 53 seconds.
Kenya Selects 25 Runners For
World Cross Country Championships
reigning women 10,000m world champion Linet Masai is
Among 25 runners and ten officials who will represent
the country at the World Cross in Bydgoszcz, Poland
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s athletics officials on Saturday picked 25 runners to represent the country during this year’s World Cross Country Championships in Poland.th was selected as a reserve.
Only nine athletes who competed at last year’s World Cross Country Championships in Amman emerged with tickets to Poland following the Kenyan championships.
Among the 25 runners and ten officials who will represent the country at the World Cross in Bydgoszcz, Poland are reigning women 10,000m world champion Linet Masai, who won senior 8km individual silver in Amman among the high profile names that left the intensely contested selection event unscathed.
"I planned to break after the fourth kilometre and unlike Amman.
"I will look to see where my opponents are when I go forward.
"I’m very happy to get another chance to represent my country and I hope this year, I will return with gold," Masai, who lost the top medal last year to compatriot, Florence Kiplagat, at the final climb in Jordan told reporters.
The 2007 junior champion and bronze winner a year later lay down the marker when she sprinted clear from the field to romp home unchallenged in 26:43.0, 20 seconds ahead of second placed Lineth Chepkurui (27:03.5).
Masai and Chepkurui who finished fourth were the only survivors from Amman who made the Kenyan women’s 8km team.
Defending champion, Kiplagat did not compete after failing to recover from a knee injury sustained during the Berlin World Championships last summer.
Margaret Wangari (27:05.8) was third ahead of Emily Muge (27:06.6) and Monica Wangari (27:13.2) who completed the top five.
In the men’s 12km event un-fancied Paul Tanui, stunned a line-up to seal a great upset when he won the highly anticipated long race at a canter with a margin of over 500m between him and closest challenger to boot.
Tanui, who was fourth at last year’s junior race in Amman breasted the tape in 35:12.5, a massive 30 seconds ahead of runner-up Lucas Rotich (35:42.7) with Joseph Ebuya (35:44.8), Hosea Macharinyang (35:47.4) and Leonard Komon (35:56.2) taking third, fourth and fifth positions.
In addition to the top four who secured automatic places, Edinburgh 2008 silver medallist, Komon who was fourth last year and sixth finisher in Amman Matthew Kisorio made the squad alongside Richard Mateelong, the world 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist who was sixth (35:58.0).
Kisorio who finished 20
"I was not expecting to win here and I thank God it has happened.
"My plan was to keep close to the leaders so that when they break, I would be with them but when I went in front and realized no one was following, I pushed on to increase the gap and I’m so happy to win," Tanui said.th at last year’s World Cross secured their places in the Bydgoszcz squad, the latter in style following his emphatic 23:38.0 victory.
Kenyan team to Bydgoscz
Junior women 6km: Nelly Chebet, Purity Cherotich, Faith Chepngetich, Mercy Cherono, Alice Aprot, Esther Chemutai.
Junior men 8km: Charles Chebet, Paul Mutero, Caleb Mwangangi, Japheth Korir, Gideon Kipketer, Isaiah Kiplagat.
Senior women 8km: Linet Masai, Lineth Chepkurui, Margaret Wangari, Emily Muge, Ann Wanjiru, Gladys Chepng’ eno.
Senior men 12km: Paul Tanui, Lucas Rotich, Joseph Ebuya, Hosea Macharinyang, Leonard Komon, Richard Mateelong, Matthew Kisorio.
Officials: David Letting, John Mwithiga, Charles Muthuri Mathiu (coaches), Henry Alukhaba (team manager), Paul Keriako (assistant team manager), Elizabeth Keitany (chaperone), Peter Nduhiu, Japheth Kariakim (physiotherapists), Peter Angwenyi (press liaison), Sarah Sibuche (government representative).
In the junior men 8km category, Japheth Korir and Charles Kibet who finished fifth and 13
Paul Mutero (23:40.8/second), Caleb Mwangangi (23:42.4/third), Gideon Kipketer (23:52.6/fifth) and Isaiah Kiplagat (23:54.6/sixth) also made the team.
Korir was fourth (23:48.5).
Amman World Cross silver medallist, Mercy Cherono and Nelly Chebet who was fifth in the women 6km junior run also made the cut.
Chebet won the selection race in 20:12.7 ahead of Purity Cherotich (20:13.6), Faith Chepngetich (20:21.6), Cherono (20:24.6), Alice Aprot (20:25.6) and Esther Chemutai (20:32.5) all who will feature in Poland.
Assistant coach David Letting, who has spent the last five years in that position was elevated to the head coach role and will be assisted by John Mwithiga and Charles Muthuri.
Paul Tergat and Martin Lel
for New York marathon
any past champion who wins this year will
collect a first-place prize of 200,000 dollars
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Former New York record holder Paul Tergat, Martin Lel and defending champion Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil will return in this year’s New York City Marathon.
The 40-year-old Tergat who last won the race in 2005 and Lel who triumphed in 2007 are part of a stellar cast of athletes invited for the epic marathon slated for Nov. 1. Tergat and Lel are renowned Kenyan marathon runners.
Tergat is also a former men’s world marathon record holder and two-time Olympic 10,000m silver medallist.
Confirming the big names’ participation in the prestigious annual event Wednesday, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said South Africa Hendrick Ramaala, winner of the event in 2004, is also gearing up for the race.
Other famous athletes lining up for the race are Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia (2005, 2006), and Ludmila Petrova of Russia (2000) in the New York City Marathon 2009 set for Nov. 1.
Leah Malot will lead Kenya’s charge in the women’s event.
Also announced was the total guaranteed prize purse of 800,000 US dollars, with a new champion’s bonus of 70,000 dollars, so any past champion who wins this year will collect a first-place prize of 200,000 dollars.
"This galaxy of champions will be chasing the largest winner’s purse in our history and for several, another spot in our record book," said Wittenberg.
"We know already that they have the strength, the speed, and the smarts to win on the streets of New York, and the question is whether they can find that magic formula again this year."
Reigning champion Gomes, 32, made history when he surprised a stellar field, including Tergat and Ramaala, in 2006 and became the first South American winner and a hero in his home country.
He repeated his victory last year, finishing in 2:08:43.
No man has won consecutive titles in New York since John Kagwe of Kenya won in 1997 and 1998. A third crown would tie Gomes with American running legend Alberto Salazar for the second-most New York City Marathon men’s titles.
American Bill Rodgers won the race four times, from 1976 to 1979.
"The New York City Marathon was the race that broke me into the ranks of the world-class marathons, and training to win for a third time is exciting," said Gomes.
"It will be my fourth time in this great marathon, and I believe that I will be ready to defend my title and claim my third victory."
These athletes join previously announced U.S. Olympians Ryan Hall and Brian Sell, who will both be making their ING New York City Marathon debut in the final race of the 2008-09 World Marathon Majors series.
Lel, 31, is a three-time London Marathon winner (2005, 2007, and 2008), setting a then-course record of 2:05:15 in 2008.
Earlier this year, Lel won his third Lisbon Half-Marathon, after triumphs in 2003 and 2006.
Lel will be eager to return to New York after being forced to withdraw from last year’s event due to injury.
He held the world record in the marathon from 2003 to 2007, with a time of 2:04:55, before it was broken by Haile Gebrselassie.
Tergat captured the 2005 crown in the closest finish in race history when he outsprinted Ramaala, the 2004 winner, to win by three tenths of a second.
A four-time Olympian and two-time World Half-Marathon Championships silver medalist, Ramaala, 37, will be competing in his sixth ING New York City Marathon.
He captured the marathon title in 2004 with a breakthrough win in 2:09:28, finished second to Tergat in 2005, and finished third in 2007.
Prokopcuka, 33, is a three-time Olympian and will be looking to tie Paula Radcliffe for the second-most New York City Marathons won by a woman.
Her most recent marathon was Boston in 2008, where she placed fourth.
Petrova, 41, will be competing in her eighth New York City Marathon after becoming the first Russian woman to win the title, in 2000.
She was last year’s second-place finisher and she set a masters (over age 40) world record with her 2:25:43 finish.
www.coastweek.com webiste and news paper
SPORTS WRITERS AROUND THE WORLD ARE STRUGGLING TO FIND
SUITABLE SUPERLATIVES TO PEN MASAI’S CONTINUED RISE AS ONE
OF GLOBE’S MOST FORCEFUL FEMALE DISTANCE RUNNING MARVELS
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- As the circus revolved around selection of the Kenyan 10,000m team for the World Championships in Berlin, one factor remained constant—Linet Masai will compete..
The faith bestowed on the shoulders of the 20-year-old rising distance running phenomenon is at an all time high since she is only female runner assured of the country’s prized 10,000m ticket.
For a nation that prides itself as a mid- and long-distance global dominance force, readiness by Athletics Kenya (AK) to enter the World Cross silver winner as the only 10,000m female runner bespeaks volumes of her progression in only her third year of competition.
On Wednesday AK chairman, Isaiah Kiplagat made the odd statement:
"We are prepared to field only Linet if no other athlete selected after the 5,000m Trials is capable of doubling."
He was speaking after ruling out inclusion of Lineth Chepkurui, the World Cross fourth finisher who finished second to Masai at the 10,000m Berlin Trials on June 27.
Sports writers around the world are struggling to find suitable superlatives to pen Masai’s continued rise as one of the globe’s most forceful female distance running marvels.
Already, she has already won World Cross junior gold (Mombasa 2007) and World Cross senior bronze (Edinburgh 2008) and silver (Amman 2009) medals.
On her maiden appearance at the largest sporting carnival on the planet, the Olympics in Beijing last August, Masai finished a credible fourth in a world junior record time of 30:26.50.
The soft spoken but friendly youngster born in the strife hit Kapsakwony, Mount Elgon District has been her country’s most consistent challenger to the might of the Ethiopians at global competitions.
It is the third time in her short career that AK are showing undying faith in Masai.
Last year, a foot injury saw her finish seventh at the 10,000m Beijing Trials but the federation granted her the wildcard.
In March, when Masai finished outside the top-ten after suffering a stitch at Amman World Cross Trials, AK, again granted her wildcard entry.
She reciprocated the faith by winning the second medal behind compatriot Florence Kiplagat.
At the slow women’s 10,000m Berlin Trial final at the New KCC/AK National Championships, Masai dispelled the need for the federation to grant her outside selection.
She was the only female athlete who had beaten the 31:00.0 A-Standard qualifications at the time who fulfilled the requirement of finishing among the top-two to gain automatic entry.
She won in 32:49.3 after running unchallenged in the last three laps.
"I will try my best to perform well.
"I always feel happy to represent my country and I have two months before Berlin that I intend to use for preparation here."
Masai has had a shining opening to the track season that has seen her upset the seemingly invincible double Olympic champion, Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) at the Reebok Grand Prix (14:35.39) on May 22.
Another highlight is setting a personal best over 5,000m (14:34.36) at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting where she lost first place by a few kicks to Africa champion, Meselech Melkamu.
"I will try to handle them (Ethiopians) in Berlin. I’m more experienced now and although I cannot say I will beat Dibaba or any of them at the World Championships, I’m happy with the way my career is shaping," Masai said.
To beat Kenya’s biggest adversaries, Masai reveals:
"You have to start pushing early and run strong since they can finish you with their kick and that requires serious training."
Second finisher at Berlin Trials, Lineth Chepkurui, is yet to gain Berlin qualification while third and fourth placed Philes Ongori and Peninah Arusei who have World Championship entry times were considered by AK to "Be too far behind to be considered," as Kiplagat said.
The fourth born in family of six, the second of Masai Trilogy of athletics was lured into athletics by her elder brother Moses Ndiema Masai who did the 5,000m and 10,000m double at the 2005 Africa Junior Championships (and her 20-year-old brother, Dennis Masai, was third in a cross country meeting in Nairobi last year).
On Wednesday, Moses, who finished fourth at the 10,000m Trials was included in the squad after winner Sammy Kitwara and second finisher, Gideon Ngatuny were stripped off heir places.
At last year’s Olympics, he finished fourth in the 10,000m final where a split timing decision caused him bronze in favour of compatriot and world 10K record holder, Micah Kogo after both ran 27:04.11. Kogo was also included in the Berlin 10,000m.
Another serving of the prowess of the Masai running engines awaits Berlin where Linet’s finest hour may be in the offing]]>
On Course at Vipingo Ridge: There has been a lot of talk about Vipingo Ridge over the last three years but now, as the first 18 holes near completion, it is time to judge Vipingo Ridge on what it is, rather than what it will be.
The Directors of Vipingo Ridge have always had a clear and sweeping vision for the development: game sanctuaries, air strips, extensive club house, luxury beach club, boutique hotel and so on.
All of these are components of a resort at a quality we are not used to seeing in Kenya.
SIMON DOYLE VISIT
So do we take Vipingo Ridge’s word for it ?
Is Vipingo Ridge really going to be ‘East Africa’s Premier Lifestyle Destination’ ?
The plans for the current development will take a number of years to complete, so how can we make an informed guess about how this huge 2,500 acre development will pan out ?
The course was recently visited by Simon Doyle of Troon International – the world’s leading golf course management company.
Simon was clearly impressed by Vipingo Ridge and said that apart from being one of the most beautiful sites he has visited, the golf course was hitting all the international benchmarks for a top quality course.
Another recent visitor to the site was Alain de Soutrait, Man-aging Director of the prestigious PGA Challenge Tour who said that he never imagined that a development of Vipingo Ridge’s quality or magnitude was being created in East Africa.
Alain visits golf courses all round the world and so his thoughts on the course at Vipingo Ridge are about as informed as one could get. Course Designer and PGA Director, David Jones said:
"I knew the course would be good – the Directors gave me carte blanche to design something really special.
"However, now it is all coming together I am really delighted at how much we have been able to achieve.
"I really feel this course has all the hallmarks of a classic".
So that’s what the experts say, but what about actual golfers – a notoriously fussy bunch – who have previewed the course.
"Best course I have ever played in Africa’ said one delighted golfer.
"I never thought I would play a course like this outside of the US’ said another.
"It was always a beautiful location and this has been improved on with this stunning course.
"Standing up here, listening to the new bird life that has moved in and looking at the sweeping views out to sea and inland across the rolling hills, I really feel blessed to be part of this amazing place’ said one happy property owner.
The last few undeveloped plots are available from about Ksh 10 million as well as the recently launched off-plan villas which start at Ksh 19.5 million.
If Vipingo Ridge keeps up the amazing standards they have set so far, it will definitely be ‘the’ place to own a property at the coast.
Judging by the number of smart cars parked at a recent open day, it looks like it already is attracting those ‘in the know’.
With such universal praise for Vipingo Ridge, we can safely say the jury is no longer out and that Vipingo Ridge is a winner.]]>
Golf safari holiday ideas in Kenya
Kenya is the home of magnificent safaris, amazing wildlife and stunning sceneries that surround visitors with every turn. But what is perhaps a little well know is it is fast becoming known as a top golfing destination and was recently awarded the 'Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year 2009' at the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) Awards.
Practicing your swing in Kenya couldn’t be better as the avid golf enthusiast will be blown away by the amazing views that Kenya has to offer such as the sun rising at dawn over the impressive Mount Kenya and the incredible views of the calm blue waters of the Indian Ocean by the coast.
This, mixed with the year-round warm climate and opportunities to spot the Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo - and other wildlife and birdlife that can be found, make golfing in Kenya extra special.
Here travelbite.co.uk takes a look at some of the best golf courses that can be enjoyed by all golfers at all skill levels.
Muthaiga Golf Club
Head to Kenya for the annual Kenya Open Championship, recently held at the Muthaiga Golf Club. Muthaiga Golf Club lies at the edge of the Karura Forest, near Nairobi, and has many challenges in store for both the professional and amateur player.
Bunkers are located on the edge of the fast paced greens which result in many golfers spending time in the sand. Next year's Open participants are yet to be disclosed but there are guaranteed to be some big names in golf, vying to become the Kenya Open Champion.
For more information, please visit European Tour.
Fairmont Mount Kenya Golf Course
Tee off under the shadow of Mount Kenya and experience the sights when playing at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Golf Course. This nine-hole golf course is strategically placed next to the awe inspiring sight of Mount Kenya, with tees situated between miniature dams and mountain streams.
Originally the retreat of movie star and Club founder, William Holden, the Club's i llustrious former members have included Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. The area itself has an abundance of wildlife with many herds of zebra and giraffe peacefully grazing nearby, as well as the odd lion or two sleeping under the warmth of the Kenya sun.
The club house is located off the course’s first tee and comes complete with a bar and a multitude of bar games to help you relax after your round.
For more information head over to the Fairmont site.
Windsor Golf Resort
The Windsor Golf Resort is a beautifully designed championship golf course situated on the outskirts of Nairobi. It is defined by its high and low terrain as it threads its way through coffee farms and forestation, which gives itself character and design quality.
Windsor is situated a mile above sea level and the impressive course boasts lush fairways, fast greens, attractive water hazards and up to 73 well located sand bunkers. For more information, please visit Windsor Golf Resort.
Lodge Beach & Golf Resort
Golfers looking for a beach break should head to Kenya’s coastal white sands near Mombasa to try out the championship standard Leisure Lodge Beach & Golf Resort in Diani Beach.
The coastal region of Kenya is a paradise of white sandy beaches and calm blue waters, where golfers can get some action in total relaxation. This challenging 18-hole course is a popular venue for international golf tournaments and the public alike.
Non-members can also play in tournaments held at the course so if you fancy yourself as the next Tiger Woods, this is the perfect opportunity to find out how good you really are.
For more information on the course and upcoming tournaments, please visit Leisure Lodge Resort.
Nyali Golf & Country Club
Finally, the Nyali Golf & Country Club is a par 71 golf course situated along the Bamburi coast line, north of Mombasa, and boasts stunning fairways and beautifully kept greens that are a challenge for all skill levels..
This stunning stretch of coast is full of fun activities for those looking for a break away from golf, with many water sports and camel rides available. Since opening in 1980, it has added a large club house to relax and unwind in after a long fulfilling day of golf, a swimming pool plus a well stocked pro shop where all golf accessories are accessible on a daily basis.
The club offers daily and weekly memberships to visitors at reasonable rates so golfers can play as many times as you like during your stay in Kenya.. Head over to Nyali Golf for more details.
For further information on golf in Kenya, please visit
Magica l Kenya.