Series explores Kenyans’ long-distance running success


The reason behind Kenya’s runners’ excellence in endurance running is explored
by Al Jazeera correspondent and running enthusiast Andy Richardson in the
programme Why We Run. Richardson also looks at why so many humans love
the sport.

In the programme, airing on Thursday 12 December at 20h00 GMT on Al Jazeera
English, Kenya’s running legends shed light on what motivates them to run, and
why so many Kenyans are succeeding in endurance running.

Kenyans have run four of the five fastest ever marathons and Wilson Kipsang,
current marathon world record holder, is the latest addition to this statistic. He
explains: “What gives you power, the courage and faith that you can really do
something in a race, is how you have really trained.’

Lornah Kiplagat, Kenyan-born, former cross country champion, reinforces this
belief: “I knew if I train hard I will win easy. So that was my motivation. Train
hard and then the competition is just having fun.’

“I can’t imagine a day without running. I hear people are addicted to coffee…but
me, I’m addicted to running,’ adds Kiplagat.

However, when it comes to endurance running, fun is not a major motivator for
a lot of Kenyans, as economic factors make running a sustainable career for

Why We Run travels to the small town of Iten, where a new generation of
Kenyan runners want to follow in the footsteps of the many endurance running
legends who grew up there.

David Rushida, world and Olympic champion, says: “Most of the motivation
comes from the people who have been there before them. They are living good
lives; they are driving good cars.’

Why We Run is part of Richardson’s exploration into running and his own
preparation to run his first marathon in the Antarctic.

Tweet questions to Andy (@AndyR_Sport) during the premiere using


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