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]]>
Dado confirms herself as the Queen of Rome
When Massimiliano Monteforte (Race director of the Rome marathon) provided me with the list of the elite women runners for the 17th edition of the Golden League Rome Marathon, I was pleased to read that the winner of the previous 2 marathons was ranked F1 – none other than the smiling athlete from Ethiopia, Dado Tufa FireHiwot.
Speaking with her the previous evening, as always Dado was full of smiles, relaxed and joking with her other team mates that Hussein Makke (director and coach of Elite Sport Management International) had gathered for the event. I told her that only a win was allowed or else no more invited to run in Rome for future marathon. She laughed it off and said that it will not be easy to do 3 in a row.
I glanced at Hussein who lifted his hands with a hint of a smile in a gesture of “anything is possible”.
Knowing Hussein who over the years has become one of the most successful managers representing the elites in middle and long distance running, off and on the track; he will not come with a small group of athletes to watch the world go by. In 2010 his runners took the double in Rome winning both men and women categories as well as Florence (Dado again) not mentioning victories at the Boston marathon, Paris – again an incredible double winning elite men and women categories, Dubai, China, Turkey, Seoul and many more!
On race day, Dado Tufa FireHiwot went out from the beginning with the leading pack keeping a meter or so behind her pacemakers before taking control of the race and stampeding ahead after the 30k marker. 400 yards before the finish line, she stopped, removed her shoes and went on to win barefoot her 3rd consecutive victory paying a graceful tribute to legendary barefoot marathon athlete from Ethiopia Abebe Bikila (1st African to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the 1960 games held in Rome and 4 years later in Tokyo).
Dado won in a time of 2.24.13 ahead of fellow country women Tesema Goitetom (2.26.21) and Lema Kebebush Haile (2.27.39)
(c) Bushdrums 2011]]>
Sunday 20th March 2011 – Rome
The weather, cloudy and quite cold; with less wind and perhaps more sun the conditions would have been better to start the 17th edition of the Maratona di Roma which this year has been upgraded to a Golden League marathon.
The atmosphere amongst the runner was calm, no signs of nervousness and on this rare occasion all athletes were ready to leave the Hotel in buses heading for the historical centre with police escort to the most spectacular start and finish of any city marathon – by the world famous Coliseum.
Race director Massimiliano Monteforte and had put together another great selection of about 45 elite athletes ready to hit the roads of Rome with another 85000 participants that included all categories as well as the 4k walk.
The race kicked off with half marathon expert Festus Langat taking the pace and pulling the lead runners through to the 25k mark before dropping out as a pacemaker and leaving the elites to take the lead on their own.
The last 4k saw a spectacular come back by last year’s winner – Ethiopian athlete AMDA SIRAJ GENA(who was unwell and in hospital the week before) who tried to catch Kenyan runner NIXON CHUMBA KIPTOLO.
Unfortunately for him, he would not make it 2 in a row and Nixon Chumba stormed through the finish line in a time of 2.08.45 followed by Siraj Gena 2.09.21 and with 3rd place going to Ethiopian runner Dawit Shami Abdulahi in 2.09.21
The race carried a dark shadowed due to the absence of elite Japanese runners that were affected by the tragic earthquake and tsunami.
(c) 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.
Rome 2010 – African athletes and Tristan Miller:
Good morning, this is your 5.30 wake up call……
I placed the phone back into its cradle and swung my feet off the bed and onto the soft carpet floor.
Instinct took me to the window – I pulled the curtain aside to see what the weather would be like; dark…. “Okay, at least I can see that it’s not raining.” I thought to myself.
I went into the bathroom and did what all men do at 5.30am!
At 6am I was in the hotel’s main breakfast room with Kassa Tadesse - Ex junior World Champion in the half as well as full marathon. We had been working for the past 3 days together discussing with the elite Ethiopian and Kenyan runners the route, beverages, food available and had taken them as well as 60 other top runners twice a day for training in a close by park.
Slowly the athletes entered for breakfast and pilled their plates with food. Rice, pasta, fruits, cereals as well as high energy breakfast goods – all washed town with either tea, coffee or water. Breakfast this morning was not for pleasure but to get as much balanced energy into the system as possible.
Okay guys – 2 hours to go shouted Massimiliano Monteforte – head of the Elite Runners Division and definitely the most responsible person of the
Weather conditions – no rain, a slight wind and a chill in the air that would soon evaporate as the sun’s rays was slowly dominating
It was Sunday morning and 2 hours from the start of one of the world biggest, best but definitely most beautiful marathons that we currently have on the yearly calendar that is held in a city – a
85 thousand participants for the marathon – this year dedicated to the Legendary Adebe Bikila who was the 1st African marathon runner (from Ethiopia) to win an Olympic gold medal in 1960 at Rome Olympic games and completed the full
I am sure he would have been proud that a fellow Ethiopian by the name of Gena Sirraj won the 2010 Rome Marathon in 2 hours 8 mins and 39 second followed by Kenyan Barus Benson and Kenyan Machichim Nixon in 2.09 and 2.09.08 respectively.
The women’s race was won by Ethiopian Dado Firehiwot in 2 hours and 25 mins and 28 seconds, followed by Haile Kebebush and Dibaba Mare in 2.25.29 and 2.25.37 respectively.
As with all marathons the elite runners have the front section closed off to themselves allowing athletes to stretch and warm up for the big run.
The area was swarming with press – Ex formulae 1 champion Alex Zanardi was participating which attracted a large numbers of photo cameras. My full respect has to be given to a gentleman who dedicated his life to motorsports and due to a sudden and unfortunate accident in one of his races he lost both legs. I had the honour of speaking to him over the past few days at the hotel and I was taken back by the happiness and positive energy that he portrays. I had complained about a resent knee operation that has placed my running shoes on the rack for a while – how stupid I felt when speaking to him and knowing what he has gone through!
“RUN LIKE CRAZY”
In the crowd of some 100 top athletes, I received a tap on my shoulder. “Good day mate” – how you doing today “Cody”?
Mr Runlikecrazy.com was relaxed as ever and ready for another marathon. I was happy to see my new friend Tristan Miller from
He commenced his 1st Marathon this year on New Years Eve in
If you are not into running – 1 marathon a week is not crazy (as I have yet to find a proper word to describe this) but simply nuts. It takes the average marathon trained athlete 4 weeks to get his / hers legs back to par – he gives his legs 6 days and his body does not have time to adjust as he runs in different cities across the globe and is subject to jetlag nearly every week.
Why - ? What is his endeavour?
Tristan Miller for UNICEF -
All money he receives and is able to generate via donations either privately or through companies will go to UNICEF. If this is not an honourable gesture in life then what is?
Tristan is supported by his travel companion Dazzler who helps him organise and definitely motivates him –
I am not one to push readers to go and visit or join a website or forum however Tristan is different. He really has had to change his lifestyle and abuse his body for the benefit to help children that are less fortunate. Take a quick break and look at his websites, try and imagine what he is doing to give our young generation a better life; – the photos of running in different countries and experiencing various cultures are magnified by his unique way of writing his daily experiences that will definitely satisfy anyone in the sports world as well as those who enjoy a good story for a grand cause.
Join him, me as well as thousands of others on the following websites below and if you have that odd Dollar, Euro or what ever currency you can afford – please help out in this wonderful cause.
Nearly everyone dreams of finishing 1 marathon either walking or jogging for themselves in a life time – Tristan is running 52 for less fortunate children in 1 year!
Wish him luck and show your support on the following sites -
© Bushdrums.com - Cody]]>
Ethiopian Athletes Still A Threat
In Cross Country Events
As Kenya prepares to stage their selection event for the
March 28 Bydgoszcz World Cross, once again focus has
shifted to Komon and whether he can finally win
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- For a country that produced more than its fair share of gifted cross country runners in the past, Kenya has had no answer to Ethiopia’s dominance of the men senior 12km individual title since the advent of six-time champion, Kenenisa Bekele.
Even on the two occasions Kenenisa faltered, at the Mombasa 2007 and Amman 2009 editions, the nation where the first two five-time winners, John Ngugi and Paul Tergat hailed from could still not find the legs to win a title that has eluded them since 1999 when the latter won his fifth 12km long race gold.
The task to restore Kenya’s glory in the recent past has fallen to Leonard Patrick Komon, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Feb. 10.
Komon who entered the World Cross scene in 2006 when he won junior 6km silver, has established himself as the most consistent Kenyan exponent at the event.
He finished fourth the following year at Mombasa but it was at the Edinburgh 2008 edition where the world sat and took notice of his talent.
A smarting Kenenisa, who had seen his bid of becoming the first winner of six World Cross titles in successive years collapse in the heat of Mombasa, was out to atone for dropping out of the race at the very last lap allowing Eritrean Zersenay Tadese to claim glory.
The Kenyan contingent for that event had been sent out to ensure Tergat and Ngugi’s achievements were not surpassed and only Komon heeded the call as his teammates faded.
In an effort that earned him the nickname ‘the fighter’ Komon then, 20, took the fight to the Ethiopian phenomenon and in a frantic finish, fell only three second short of causing what would have amounted to one of the greatest upsets in the history of World Cross.
Injured before last year’s Amman World Cross, Komon could only finish 17th at Kenya’s selection event but in a demonstration of his status as his nation’s best bet at the event, Athletics Kenya (AK) decided to hand him wildcard entry.
However, Komon was not at his best even a day before the race but once on the cold, hard desert course of Amman, he still emerged Kenya’s best placed finisher in fourth and remarkably, missed the bronze medal by one second as yet another Ethiopian, Gebregziabher Gebremariam scored victory. Kenenisa was ruled out from the event through injury.
As Kenya prepares to stage their selection event for the March 28 Bydgoszcz World Cross, once again focus has shifted to Komon and whether he can finally win the title his consistent displays deserve.
"It could happen for me this year but first, I have to face my compatriots on Saturday to earn a ticket in the team.
"I’m not worried about my shape and I have no injuries to report," Komon said on Wednesday.
"I cannot explain why my teammates failed to win the senior title in Amman but on my part, I was only in the race to try my best since my (knee) injury that I had suffered earlier in the season was bothering me.
It’s time the 12km men individual title came home and we can learn from last year’s women team that won gold and silver for the first time ever and 15 years after the first individual title was won," the athlete added.
He was referring to Florence Kiplagat and Linet Masai 1-2 in the women’s senior 8km race that saw Kenya wrest the individual and team titles from Ethiopia.
Besides Kiplagat, who will miss this year’s campaign through injury sustained at the Berlin World Championships, Helen Chepngeno (1994) is the only other Kenyan female athlete to win the senior women’s World Cross individual title.
"If I make the team, I will not be afraid to lead it to the individual title but more than ever before, we need to work as a team.
"We always plan ahead on what to do but when we get to the course, I do not know why we fail to stick to the plan and coaches should work out how to avoid that this year," Komon stated.
Komon has warmed up for the selection event and global championships by enjoying an impressive campaign on the European IAAF Permit cross-country meetings in Spain.
His season began with a third finish in Llodio on Nov.22 before he improved to runner-up in Alcobendas on Decmber 6 last year.
On Jan. 17, he turned tables on Gebremariam in Santiponce for his first victory of the season that was followed up by another win Elgoibar (Jan. 27).
Komon returned home for training in Iten at a camp operated by his management company, Golazo Sports.
While Kenyan selection event for global athletics championships have been known to bury big names, the country can ill afford to present a squad in Poland minus the runner born in the conflict torn Mount Elgon region of Rift Valley Province.]]>
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.