Official Race entries available for the 2017 NYC Half/MarathonEmail the team
1/22 One month to Tokyo - Wilson Kipsang is the big name, especially after his super fast PR #2 at Berlin. Word on the street is a Japanese man will be running fast.. There are 9 sub 2:06 runners in the field!
Next restaurant stop - http://caravaggioristorante.com/ it is on East 74th, a wonderful restaurant; went there a few years ago.In other news thanks to Val for ressing in a donut costume for Shoe4Africa LINK.Reminder; the 110th NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center on Feb. 11.
1/21 At Settepani restaurant last night with a great friend and the NYRR chair, George Hirsch - four hours passed with the blink of the eye, plus a very good fennel salad as starter.
Navigating midtown, not realising there was a protest march. hundreds of thousands crammed the streets of the march making the rest of the roadways easy to navigate for once...Got to the office turned on the computer, the news came on from Washington. In my (humble) opinion I think the We Shall Overcome song, by Pete Seeger is a lot more powerful to what I heard of news....
Bekele goes for the world record at the marathon in Dubai, but falls on the starting line, hm, not the best, he doesn't seem to have much luck in Dubai.
1/18 Am interested to see how thick the midsoles are of Kenenisa Bekele when he goes for the WR in the Dubai Marathon in two days... (last words)
1/17 "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" Martin Luther King- Ace.
Christmas Eve at the Shoe4Africa Hospital sees Ben Limo world 5000m champion, Janeth Jepkosgei world 800m champion, Charlie Grice Olympic finalist, Eliud Kipchoge Olympic Marathon Champion, World 5000m champion, and Chelimo (my champion)...
1/16 We are building a Music Therapy House at the hospital... because... this will be with: Reducing stress, anxiety, and pain
• Promoting comfort and relaxation
• Providing opportunities for self-expression
• Supporting developmental skills
• Reinforcing academic skills
• Providing experiences that support memory making and legacy building
• Promoting ability to cope with hospitalization and healthcare experiences
• Providing opportunities for positive interactions between patients and their families
1/15/2017 - Since I last wrote... a lot has happened! Firstly it was back to Kenya, and secondly I have just got back... thirdly so much happened in between.
Two more spots in our half marathon team for March 19th.... and then Kenya!
Thanks to our great ambassadors Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic Champion in the marathon, to Janeth Jepkosgei and Ben Limo, both former world champions, and to OLympic finalist Charlie Grice who all came together with a bunch of athletes to hand out Christmas Gifts at the Hospital! That was a major highlight, then we opened the Sig Walkway between the Kitchens and the Hospital, we ground broke on the Music Therapy Playrooms and most possibly on a general playroom next door as well, as well as starting our next school too! This is not a classroom it is a complete school and admin block! Lots of exciting things going on!
Another highlight was having Birds Nest Foundation come over and film. They were in Kenya for five days of filming and did so so much! Highly recommended for creative talent, great people, and a huge work ethic.
My favorite story? About the little girl above (being fed ice cream from Olympic Champ Eliud above - Priscilla came to the Shoe4Africa hospital with her daughter. She had come from Maralel. When the glands started swelling the mother worried, when nose bleeds came constantly she took three days to get to the local medical center. The daughter stayed there for one month, the daughter got worse; she would not eat. The medics had no idea what was wrong; not surprising as they had not diagnostic equipment. The family had five cows, they were recently stolen. Now they had nothing. They were advised to take their child to ‘The Shoe4Africa’. The mother sold her chickens for the ride, it took her three days traveling with communal transport.
At the Shoe4Africa the daughter was quickly diagnosed as suffering from blood cancer. The mother arrived with her last 500-shillings ($5-dollars). That was in November. Two months later, just before Christmas, the mother was down to a couple of dollars. The doctors told the mother the prognosis was not good, “This may well be your daughter’s last Christmas.” The mother decided to spent the last of her money braiding her daughter’s hair. “If it is to be her last, let me do this for me. Make her beautiful for her last Christmas. Then I will leave the rest in God’s hands.” She said.
On December 22nd she heard celebrations on the first floor, just outside her room. She came out and saw the deputy Governor of Eldoret, Chemno, coming to hand out food, Vaseline pots, and milk. “Look!” The mother cried, “In Maralel it is hard to get milk. Look what is coming! And look at the food!” She said pointing to a supply now stocked in her cupboard.
On December 24th foreigners came, and the best Kenyan runners. Her daughter was sitting on a little stool with the group of all the sick kids for a Christmas party thrown by Shoe4Africa. The world’s best marathoner, Eliud Kipchoge, singled out her daughter, as he and some other world champion athletes like Janeth Jepkosgei, Ben Limo, and British Olympic finalist Charlie Grice were handing out the presents and food to the kids. As Eliud gave the girl a piece of cake A photographer from the Daily Nation, Jared Nyataka, was caught by the beautiful scene.
“Look!” Cried the mother, “My daughter has gifts, ice cream, lollipops and Christmas cakes!” The very next day she was told her daughter and Eliud were the main page in the sports section of East Africa’s premier Newspaper!
I am happy to say there is a happy ending. Loaded with the fare home and travel money, a London marathon jacket, new running shoes, books, toys and crayons, the little girl is traveling back home; she made a remarkable turnaround. The prognosis was wrong… or was it just that the mother had faith.
Coming in 2017 will be a Shoe4Africa video! We have joined the 'big charities! (really.. cough cough) And we are getting Birds Nest Productions to make a video for us -the problem was they have 40-hours plus of footage from their trip to Kenya... we have so much compelling stuff with Health, Education, and our Women's Empowerment. A slue of great interviews with top runners, people and of course Kenya-Kenya!
12/11 Wow times zipped! Anyway, glad to say following a brunch up in Harlem today... Alphonso Horne is a name that will be musically involved with Shoe4Africa, thanks Alan. Had a great meeting us at Taszo in Washington Heights. What a talented guy... Although the sound quality doesn't do justice listen here - YOUTUBE.
This is also in tune with our music therapy playrooms coming to Kenya next year!Thanks also to Marva & Desiree - up at Mist on 115th ST, planning for next year for Shoe4Africa and where we are going!
12/04 Great day for Kenyans in the Marathon world - Nelson Oyugi won the 34th edition of the California International Marathon in 2:11.40, Sarah Kiptoo took the ladies in 2:31, then Peter Kimeli Some took the honors in Macau in 2:12...ONLY Makua got second as he tried to three peat in Fukuoka Marathon, finishing a credible second behind Ethiopia's Tsegay - both running 2:08's, with Rebecca Kangongo Chesire winning the Singapore Marathon in 2:43 - hot 'n humid there!
12/01/2016 Ring ring – answers..
Automated phone answering machine; Please enter you ten digit phone number
How can we help you today?
Me-By giving me someone who can answer a question about billing.
Your wait time is between 5 and ten minutes…
Fifteen minutes later I get a ‘real’ person…
Good morning, can you tell me or enter your ten digit code?
Okay, I do that
So, how can we help you today
(me) A question about billing.
Okay, so let me put you on a short hold when I connect you to someone from billing
Pause…. Annoying music, plus a stream of messages telling me all answers can be found on the website.
Hi, how can we help you today?
Well I have an issue with billing and…
Great, we will get you sorted out right away. Unfortunately all our representatives are busy right now.
I remember the good old days when real people outnumbered the automated… I guess we have all experienced this problem.
Meanwhile, great news at the hospital is we are fixing the road outside and it is coming along great!
And more great news;
Landrum Middle School and Ponte Vedra High School cross county teams rock!
Twenty years ago I went to Ponte Vedra and stayed with a cool guy named Steve Curran who is very familiar with helping, with Kenya... and today I received a $500 donation and this nice letter!
"Hello Toby, hope this message finds you in good health and spirits. I've done some coaching this past fall and through the generosity of the Landrum Middle School and Ponte Vedra High School cross county teams we were able to make a contribution to Shoe4Africa. From the students of Florida to the students of students of Kenya in the name of running, a language that needs no interpreter."
11/28 The Brother Colm of Ethiopia - Woldemeskel Kostre taken on one of his most disappointing days, to date the only time he did not have enough runners cross the finish line to form a team in the World XC... he was lamenting here...
And explaining the heat factor...
11/26 I did not know numbers like this existed... but to coldplay & youtube they do... 455,837,766 views.I'm standing for Standing Rock.
11/25 A man larger than life some say, Fidel Castro, has died aged 90. A man that was the irk of America for many decades. A few years ago passed the power to his brother Raul, 85, but still Castro, good or bad, has been almost a symbol of Cuba. You'll never think of Cuba without a Castro... his deeds will be judged & talked about for years.11/24 Glad to see that justice has been served, down on Kenya. Rita Jeptoo, one of the world's truly gifted athletes who never had a reason to take performance enhancing drugs, went down the road she should not taken. Be this due to herself, or the people around her is one for debate, but the fact remains beyond what she did she also falsely accused people of manipulating her and pressed charges against Federico Rosa, Claudio Berardelli and a few others. There is no excuse for either act... it is simply a sad case that can be used to highlight the bad of the running world.
Rita was brought up in Tuigoin, a village of no tomorrow for those who dream of seeing an easy path to a better life. It is farm land and Rita's family were terribly poor. School fees were not there, but luckily she could run, and she could run like the wind. In American terms they might call this place a One horse town, the local primary school where Rita got her education barely owns a text book for the kids, forget paints and brushes, electricity, and the 'luxuries'. A classmate told me if the teacher turned up that was an achievement. Standing in Tugion you look to the left to the right and you wonder where you are going.
Rita's education finished at that primary, but she the lucky one, her running at school got her noticed and she was picked up and went to Iten for a training camp. Her first international race was a success; she won, by a mile, the Stockholm Marathon in 2004 and followed that up with a win in Milan. Soon after she got selected to run for Kenya, both in Cross Country and the 20km where she won a bronze.
The breakthrough nearly didn't happen; in 2006 after losing her passport in Milan the Boston marathon organizers scratched her from the field. She was the very last athlete to arrive... a relatively unknown Kenyan woman in America. To be continued...
Rita to the right, celebrating after her 2006 breakthrough race in Boston.
Rita won Boston, jumpin up and down was Catherine Ndereba, although a multi-time winner of Boston she had not been invited back and the rumor had it the organizers were not inviting the 'big' International names hoping that the American favorite would win the race. This is a practice done around the world as nothing pleases the press better than a domestic win. Rita was not a big name, till she crushed the field and won the race.
However domestic issues of quite a dramatic fashion followed, then a pregnancy break, then a return to training, a change in a crowd and more... Long story cut short the Rita that emerged in 2013 was a new woman, even more so later that year when things changed and suddenly a sub 2:20 lady appeared who did not slow down, did not tire and appeared invincible. And a year later we found out why...
Sadly although Rita out of the public admitted that her coach and management had nothing to do with the doping that story changed after a year. Anyway the long and short is a two year ban, now turned into a four year ban on top of a tarnished career and two DSQ's for last two Major Marathons. Back in Tuigoin the building project, to erect small rentals, has stopped. A pile of stones lay next to half built walls. The grass now reaches the windows, but little else has changed in this village.
11/23 Shoe4Africa board meeting and we are now planning what has crept up with the speed of a Ninja turtle - Our 10th year as a 501 C3 Not for Profit. Of course we have been going longer than that it is just the paperwork and officialdom... you see in the old days I did not want the charity to grow in the slightest, in fact the aim was to keep it tiny. The reason being was obvious... paying for the shoes!
11/20 Winning the Airtel 1/2 marathon in 59:44 - or the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon was Eliud Kipchoge. The runner of 2016 for sure on the roads, along with Mo Fire Farah on the track.
Thinking ahead till next year, almost here anyway. It will be the NYC running scene planning for the Half marathon that takes you round Manhattan and into Times Square. A moveable human festival and of course we will be there. If you want to join our team we have limited spots available for great people to come and join in the journey and see your fund raising efforts really make the change for Kids born into Dire poverty where basic healthcare is not a birthright. Please come and be on our team!
A sign of the times.... go to the race in Central Park and forget to take my bib number! Not really needed as I was going to run with Tom, and just do the race if he didn't show, but the fact I did not even think of a bib number until I am almost there at the race, and miles from home is a little disconcerting.
Race to Deliver was undelivered... and how come my bib got pixeled?
Each time I fly BA I watch Top Gear... well used to watch until Jeremy Clarkson was removed; that is like taking Mike Jagger & Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones and announcing a concert in Madison Sq Gardens; it isn't going to happen. Thus I was glad to hear they are coming to Amazon TV; not that I am that techy that I can watch there but I know, like all good things, the show will end up eventually on the Youtube! I am patient and I can wait.. for those who can't - Stream new episodes of #TheGrandTour every Friday on Prime Video. http://amzn.to/2flBkPh
11/19 40-minutes in the Post Office... I was sending a lot of cards, national and international of varying weights. Hence after standing in line all had to weighed... I am getting good at this, for 56 cards I was wrong for only three cards!
Guess which stamp... games.
It is the Urban Athletics Central Park 10km, DATE: 12/17/2016 and 9 AM - 102nd ST Central Park...Celebrate the Holidays by running the Fourth Annual Central Park Holiday 10K in New York! This race is a USATF NYC Open Masters Championships with awards going to the first three over – all male and female finishers and the first three masters male and female finishers. In addition to the above awards, the winners will also receive Gore running jackets. Ph 212.828.1906 for more details!
11/17 JOB opportunity -- suite a runner: Urban Athletics is Hiring! Weekends a must. Part time and full time opportunities. A great job for runners who want to share their experience with customers seeking expert advice. Flexible schedules, store discounts. Contact Jerry: 212-828-1906Planning to Run the Race to deliver on Sunday, a nice 4-mile event. My memories from this race in the past was walking with Joan Rivers, who was going to compete, and she carried a stick and waved it in front of herself and told the photographers who had gathered to snap pictures of her to not get too close, "Your mother wouldn't appreciate close ups"... A most interesting lady, and she did more than just attend, she also walked the route! Good for her. She used to live on 62nd ST and right opposite my friend's apartment - he lives on the South side of the street and her the north hence when you looked out of his balcony across....
Music therapy healing comes to Kenya! We are gathering musical instruments to start a Musical playroom for the kids. Jess Hall has the Kenyan Music foundation; check her out on FB. LINK HERE
11/16 Found a great coffee spot for grabbing a coffee and a seat, and a comfortable seat(!) near Grand Central Station in NYC - it is: 18 West 29th ST Stumptown. Check it out. Average coffee but the back room seating is spacious comfy, laptop friendly on the main tables with power, with armchairs to boot!
NYC is full of relic restaurants, landmarks, I hear... like Pancho's on MacDougall, near the Cafe Whaa? Been there since the 60's I hear. Then the one day you choose to go somehow it was closed! Instead the Elephant & Castle, another landmark. However a piece of advice, dine before eating as the menu sizes are rather 'kid friendly' for adults...
The menu is small the portions are... smaller.
In other amazing news, true if you believe it, United Airlines are now charging for carry on over head bin luggage! Not that I ever liked that airline and I liked it even less after reading this latest news...
11/15 Weather - NYC or Vegas? Hm, a no brainer. Finally NYC loses one point against another city. What is this windy, rain, gray sky blurr reminding me of my days in Reykjavik city?
11/14 By the pool, waiting for a taxi, I realize that we are next door to the Wynn – where I stayed with Anthony many years ago when coming for a bloggers conference. I wish I had taken notes that day, or night. The next day we seriously were late for the plane, god knows how we made it. It took a lot of running.
11/13 At the Rock n Roll Marathon. Snoop Dogg is doing a warm up set and by that I mean with the vocals. I have a Coaches Bib, I am not really officially running this race, I am here with a team of runners raising money for kids with chronic diseases and the terminally ill. This is a good set of runners and my job is to run alongside as many as possible. I find myself noticing many things that ‘New York’ does better, however the race is fun, and zooming along the strip at night to rock bands is pretty cool. I find myself running and checking at medical tents as I hear a couple of our runners are not doing so well; that adds some speed as I feel like an ambulance.
11/12 Go out for a jog on the streets of Vegas. Barely 400-meters from the strip I see shacks and tons of homeless people, I find a small park and there are more beds in the park than at sleepys. Wow this city has another side that is close to the good side.
11/11 Viva Las Vegas! Here in Vegas for the Rock n Roll Marathon. I am staying at the Palazzo which is a monster of a hotel, huge! Of course built around a casino. I have been going to Vegas on running trips quite a few times and I am yet to invest my first quarter with gambling; not for me!
In fact I just go and hang in the hotel room. I don’t own, or ever have owned a TV, hence it is quite nice to watch it once in a while…
I ask one of the staff if there is a treadmill to which he says that this is a casino, not a fitness gym, and that they do gambling and hospitality. Apparently he was incorrect, however it was only at that moment when I wished to run on a treadmill, so I missed the golden chance to see if they did have a hotel gym.
11/06 Ran the TCS New York City Marathon and it was extremely fun! I was missing rather a lot of training thus was not feeling so confident going into this run as I have done in previous years. The golden rule is a few long runs… my longest was 16, but a KM not a miles, and I must admit I was close to walking at the end. That was just before I went to Kenya where I was expecting to do a few more runs of mega miles.
I was not lacking in inspiration, on my morning jogs Mary Keitany would zip by on her NYC marathon build up, plus a billion (seemingly) who train on the red dirt roads of Iten, Kenya. This little village is home to three of the top names running New York – Keitany (translates in Kalenjin to do with milk and a cow), then we have Sally Kipyego, and we have Joyce Chepkirui. In case you are wondering if there are any men…. Tons, and the village record holder is the former world record holder, Wilson Kipsang.
Long story short I am going over the Verrazano bridge with Mary Wittenberg, her colleague Jess, and Michael Capiraso. Mary has never run NYC despite being the boss for a decade – it is going to be an emotional five boro run tour for her. And Michael? Well he has over run it – this is his 25th anniversary NYC marathon and he is the President of the NYRR!
Let’s jump ahead to mile 12…. Long miles of self-preservation. I feel like I am about to hit the proverbial wall, we have been running for about 1:5 0 which is longer than my ‘long’. This spells trouble and I am now thinking of plans B, C, and Escape. Mary meanwhile is having a ball, high fiving folks and seeing the real street fair the marathon displays. Michael is a rock, though I can see some worrying donkey kicks, showing he must be tight. We get to the Queensboro bridge and funnily enough my fortunes change. Suddenly running up the bridge I am wondering why it is so flat, the pace picks and it feels easy. Running down the other side, nattering with Mary, I realize we have dropped Michael. Onto First Ave we zoom along, better and better, all the way to the finish line! We cross the line, Mary hugs Peter Ciaccia and we do a U turn down the course now running against the thousands. Good job all the police and course marshals are looking the wrong way! On the East side we meet Michael, do another U turn and then go back to the finish line all together! What fun!
11/04 Giving an award to Dick Traum yesterday for his Hall of Fame to the NYC marathon. I had a nice speech written up, then there was an introductory video; all the things I was going to say came out in the video!
Minutes before I had been sitting with Paula Radcliffe, who was giving an award to Margaret Okayo and we were talking about how, when giving a little speech as a presentee, it was better to prepare rather than just amble on unprepared. So I had to go out and wing it… unprepared. Luckily, as I know Dick quite well, it was ok as there are plenty of things to say about the first man to run a marathon as an amputee, who started the worldwide Achilles Track Club, who was the first amputee to run an ultra, who inspired Terry Fox to run across Canada etc etc.
Anyway it was a lovely event, Frank Shorter was also there, giving an award to Steve Jones the Welshman who lives in Boulder and won NY, and Rod Dixon, the incredible 1500 to marathon man, winner in 1983, who is doing a great kids initiative right now out West – he was getting an award presented by George Hirsch. This was the first time in about ten years that I have seen Margaret which was very nice too. Lots of memories from 2000-2003 when she was on top of the world. She still holds the NYC marathon record, and the Boston record (one they take Rita the cheat out of the books)
Went to the Expo, going on the escalator in the subway who was riding behind me but German Silva! I ran with German in 2010 when he was kind enough to run for Shoe4Africa. Popped in a coffee shop for a meeting and who walked in Meb Keflegizghi, small world at NYC at marathon time. So many languages from all over the world! Bumped into Gary M. of Huntingdon, LI, who won the very first marathon, when it was a 155 runner event. Then Kev and I when to lunch on the Upper West Side at a nice French Place at 71 and Columbus before shooting over to Urban Athletics to drop off the Shoe4Africa bags for the Breakfast run.
08/28 Many thanks to J. P. Reinhold, another long time Shoee4africa supporter! He's ran with since 2010 in his first marathon, he ran his first Boston raising money for us, he is still giving (we got a thousand bucks today!). Thank you to a dear friend, and a great supporter of Shoe4Africa - J.P. Reinhold. PS: Even his sweet daughters have sent us donations!!
Mike Wilesmith - a hero for Shoe4africa, came to Kenya a few years ago with wife Kate, ended up not only bringing Kenyans back to run, but also fund raising for Shoe4Africa. He is at it again, not only fund raising funds for us but he also pledged his WINNINGS if he won the race (or won prize money) and he did! Wonderful story of a man caring about a public children's hospital in another continent far off from where he is living! Thank you Mike!
08/28 Ruth Jebet breaks the world record for the Steeplechase, 8:52 beating a Russian woman's record from 2008 (ho ho) shortly after her Olympic Triumph. Competing for Bahrain at the Olympics Ruth actually came back to Kenya after her Olympic Gold to celebrate with family in Nandi County. Obviously the celebrations were short, and now there are more reasons to celebrate!Gun Violence - how many bullets will kill before the laws in America are changed? How many stupid second amendment stories must we hear about people's rights? So sad, so pointless, so violent... so much needed - change. If President Obama couldn't make it happen, who can?Lord Delamere’s heir Thomas (Tom) Cholmondeley, who infamously shot and killed two Kenyans died from Cardiac Arrest, aged 48. (link).
08/27 Running with the incomparable George Hirsch in the Percy Sutton 5k. Afterwards brunch with George, and Anthony Edwards, at Les Ambassades on FDB & 119th st. Then on to Lavain Bakery for a sugar fix. You know that running takes energy!
08/26 Cafe Bari, on 6th Ave, a coffee shop... Its poster board reads "Lemon Ice water" - don't think I will be picking up coffee from there. Speaking of which last night at dinner with Marco (at Whole Foods Cafe on Houston NYC) and he tells me that Timo, an ultra star runner, is opening Arabica - a Japanese coffee franchise in Berlin! He's got the Euro rights... nice!
Went to the NYRR house to pick up a bib number for tomorrow's Percy Sutton Harlem 5k. I read on the bib that Harlem is...'Transforming the world.' Hm, self proclamations or something we are to hear about in the news...
I also saw I have gone from Corral A (in my last race) to Corral J in one big jump! How does this system work again? Too bad for me, I was supposed to be meeting my friend, and NYRR Chairman, George Hirsch in Corral A.
07/26 Fire at St. Patrick's High School, Iten, Kenya - luckily all students and teachers are ok.
Lunch with marathon great Moses Tanui at the Eldoret Sports Club. Driving up the road we saw a road accident, by coincidence it was a relative of Moses' but luckily she was ok.
07/09 Update - great job Venus! #sisterswindoubles.
Greatest athlete of our Time? Serena Williams! Wow.. and she is now on court with sister Venus going for the Doubles Title. Too bad drugs cheat Sharapova took (stole) a Wimbledon title from her back in 2004.
07/08 Very interesting article - LINK . I guess I am feeling lucky to have grown up in a peaceful environment where love won over hate. Where fear wasn't a first instinct. The case of Philando Castile is a terribly sad story, and worse yet a reminder of the reality of the society we have here in the States. I wonder if the general complacency of the public is they feel that this element of today's society doesn't affect them? And I wonder how long before society catches on that ignoring a national problem will make the issue fester, worsen and have a terrible effect on the society growing up today. #blacklivesmatter. This is not 2016 (progressive life), this is a generation from a forgotten time, before people opened their ears... and the scary thing is 'if this is the life under President Obama then what is the future'? Martin Luther King: 'I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.' Echoing (repeating) the (same) words of a former World Leader Mahatma Gandhi.
07/01 Amazing timing in the world of Athletics: You have the Olympics coming up, each country has athletes trying to peak for August and the European Athletics have their own championships -weird? Are you asking athletes to peak the first week in July and hold that peak till the second and third week in August, not forgetting a peak to get in the national team to make the European championships...
European athletics chiefs should be looking at ways at increasing the exposure of European athletes at the Olympics. If you don't believe look at two things later on this summer; how many European athletes win medals in Rio. How many of the medalists who took a Gold at the 'Euro' champs, took a medal in Rio. I am taking a guess Mo Farah will not be at the Europeans; maybe the officials should take a look at his way of doing things and follow suit.
06/ Don't tell me it is true? The demise of a European (possible) union. One wonders; a step backwards for Britain is almost certain,let's hope that Europe, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, band to make the EU stronger, and leave (Great?) England to swim selling its Mad Cows to itself... and importing the rest of the world's cars since its own defunct car industry (that once was a world strength) reflects the fact that England's isolated wealth is (like the premier league, and God Bless Iceland for proving this, imported talent and commodities...)
05/27 Wow, this blog is almost dead. The issue is too many places these days - when this blog was started there was just a blog, then came Facebook, instagram, twitter, S4A blog and one hundred places plus! I need to do a word press or something that ties up all the things!
First athletics - we hear 28 athletes failed tests 2005-2008, we now read that 31 athletes from 2008 Olympics also failed, and 23 from London 2012 - reading through this we read very little positive news. Obviously a department needs help and a shake up, and athletes need action - all this tells is going into athletics means you are not entering a fair playing field - what's new?
Meanwhile people in Kenya are crying because a railway line is planned to go through a national park in Nairobi. Well (some of) the poor people are saying, 'yes we want a railway, it is the transportation of the poor and it is here to benefit Kenya' whereas (some of the rich) are saying we want to keep the safari park for its beauty.
STOP PRESS -- Shoe4Africa NYC 5K - September 8th @ 7pm. One in every five runners gets a prize! Every one (over the legal age) gets a Beer, winners get cool Gore $200+ jackets, as do age graded winners. It is back! Below is the ADIDAS tech race T shirt for all entrants.
To enter this super cool race just click on this link here
04/14 It is Live - the Shoe4Africa 5K; too cool 2 Miss! Register yourself here please [link] That to go with all the others - Sign up to run the New York City Marathon with us! Sign up to play Tennis... with us. Aces 4 Africa is only one month away! I believe we are over 85% sold out on Doubles Teams.A new Documentary is coming out this summer about a women's football team in Zanzibar, playing against convention. Sure it will be great; watch out for New Generation Queens.
04/12 Looking at the race, the Shoe4Africa NYC 5K that is coming in September. I can just tell you now, don't miss this event. It is going to be 'toppen' as they say in Sweden. One of those self explanatory words.Tirunesh Dibaba has her name behind a sports center in Ethiopia - looks great! Not as good as Kenya for foreigners due to language barriers I believe as Amharic is a tough language and unlike Kenya everyone does not speak English, but looks great for those who will visit. [LINK].
Yesterday I went to the race in Central Park, a 4-miler. They have a great 'wave' system now letting the runners get off in a freer fashion. The fastest stand in the first corral, AA, then the next in A and so forth. Well I go and stand in my corral and a man comes across and tells me to get out (I wasn't even in the fast one!). He looks at my bib three times before leaving me alone... I was actually running with George Hirsch, the Chairman of the NYRR who at the age of 81 won his age group, and our pacers - me, Mary Wittenberg, and Michael Capiraso - the former and the present CEO of the NYRR... We had a great time nattering as George zoomed along at an inspirational pace! HE told me after we finished, "Wait till you get to your 80's, you'll find you slow down..." No kidding, I am dreaming that I will get there, let alone get there and be able to run.
After the run we went for coffee to the Boathouse where we met Vincenzo and a nice group of Italians, and Kev who's getting his 9 races in for next year.
04/01 Investors - Go to Africa, look at Kenya. The Economy is out shining many places in the West.... LINKGreat article by Chloe Malle on the fabulous Dibaba Clan and "Aunt" Tulu, the first ever, only, Double Olympic 10,000m champion (92 + 00) who won the NYC marathon in 2009 - she had the greatest comment at the press conference that year when someone asked her about retiring; she reversed the question to the journalist.
03/27 Emil Zatopek - George & I were talking about him and check out the Richard Askwith article here. A never-to-be repeated happening; Mr. Triple.
Aspiring reality TV people - a running show for you!
LINK IS HERE Hosted by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The tag line says... 'Contestants on the reality show could win $1 million.' There you go!
Runner's World run a feature about running a half marathon in a suit - apparently a Rex Woodbury of the USA ran 1:18 but a Japanese Yuki Kawauchi, ran1:06:42 but, they say, on an uncertified course.. well there is a dispute. However, as Rex pointed out there are thousands of runners who could best that time and running in a suit is not that hard, it is like a tracksuit (if like Rex you wear a custom suit). Personally I never owned a suit whilst I was a runner... however I did win the Wall St Rat Race three times in Business Attire - the first time getting DQ'd despite winning the race outright (most of the field ran in shorts and a singlet - this was NYC) in a Prison Jumpsuit with a briefcase (as stipulated) that said "insider trader"... And let me tell you that was a heavy duty cotton and hard to run in, plus the legs were flared and I kept on tripping!
03/26 At the Spring Fling Classic 10k this morning. I ran with George Hirsch. Last year we ran together at the Brooklyn Half when George ran the fastest time for the year by an 80-year old! We ran a few seconds over 2-hours. Today George has not been training running as much, and I have had a month off with a bad Achilles so I was glad when he said "we might walk" but George did it - he wasn't too happy with 58-minutes, but I was super impressed. We ended up in the Medical tent, NOT for the obvious reason, instead for the Hot Chocolate!! There we met Stu Weiss the Head of the NYRR Medical, and Peter Ciaccia, the Race Director of the NYC marathon and Events.
A nice article by John Leicester of the AP, but factually incorrect. LINK is HERE
There is an airport in Eldoret with multiple flights to Nairobi during the day that the IAAF reps do actually take; they don't drive "past the wreck of Paul Tergat's mercedes" hurrying to get the samples to the Nairobi airport driving past the equator.
Also you state that Rita Jeptoo was the only high profile athlete to fail a test? Well what about Wilson Loyanae Erupe? A 2:05 marathon runner who was busted for EPO - is he not "high profile" because he is a Kenyan? His PR of 2:05 makes him a national record holder in 98% of the world's countries.... what about Matthew Kisorio - his 58-minute Half record makes him also a national record holder in 99% of the world's countries. Why are these not considered High Profile athletes?
There is a simple solution here, firstly it is establishing a separate entity (not the IAAF) to control the anti-doping, secondly marathon running is one of the few sports where complete unknowns are (allowed) to pop out of the blue to win un-monitored in world-class competitions offering a six figure prize sum. Hence promoting a very easy scenario for a cheat. Note how many 'new' 2:04/5 runners have appeared in the last five years, then look at how many do a poor second marathon (when under the spotlight and subject to testing yet now getting a new income of a six figure appearance - could be coincidence, should be monitored. Marathon fields should be compromised of athletes who have been tested, and are part of a team (like the British football league) hence a manager has a team who we get to know, and are subject to team testing and outside testing (if those numbers don't match up then it is up to the race director and manager to slide the runner out of the race). No runner is allowed in the elite field unless he has been monitored for at least three months by the outside team AND the manager.
Remember that the manager will not sacrifice his name for one runner, as he/she has a squad and doesn't want to risk getting banned -- if you don't believe this then why didn't a manager sue the Chicago Marathon when a certain Robert Cheruiyot slipped backwards on a slippy finish line mat, and cracked his head causing hospitalization, concussion, and has (what some people think) caused long term damage. Put two and two together.
So when a manager says I have 100-athletes, I can't control what they do 24/7 the race then says, Yes you can - you have to test and monitor. But a blood testing machine for 10,000 Euro's (like Doctor Rosa did after Rita Jeptoo was tested positive) and you will soon be able to see if you have "suspicious readings" and if one of your athletes then has 'readings causing a ban' at the race that haven't been picked up on by you (and could have been) then a ban on a manager is placed.
Some IAAF partner managers have multiple bans and something needs to be done. If they need help then call out and be a part of the program -- there are multiple blood testing facilities in Kenya. My hospital in Eldoret has this ability and can email the results to the manager, athlete, and the race director of the next upcoming race - I tell you this way would start to move things into line!
Congrats to Kenya - Five medals out of six individual and both team golds in the world half in the UK today. Mo Farah, the man of the Mo'ment, grabs the only non-Kenyan medal stepping off the track onto the roads and grabbing a bronze.
03/21 Governor David Paterson confirming to come to the Achilles Hope & Possibility.
The United NYC Half is actually a Manhattan half... and it has been astonishing to see it grow from a small puddle of an event to this mammoth of an event that it is today. I was at mile 3 with Damian, Jon, and Kev with the Shoe4africa huddle cheering not only our fab team on, but a whole troop of other runners - great to see this 20,000+ strong vibe of positive power, thanks to all the Shoe4Africa team members, and helpers, and not forgetting the host restaurant - the fabulous runner friendly Woolworth Tower Kitchens (official home of Coach Jon).
Alexa Peterson - a valued team member of Shoe4Africa
03/19 CLICK HERE to watch, and to listen to the uber talented Jazz singer Kate Chaston (married to Matt Shiney Chaston formerly of the Fat Tuesdays). And if you are in NYC in April then go along and listen in... at the Metropolitan room.
In NYC this morning, going to an event with Brooke and Damian from Ozland and who do I see.. from Iten(!) but Joyce Chepkirui! Didn't even know she was coming to NYC to run. Joyce has the Shoe4Africa course record in Kenya for our 5k. She was on the Olympic team for the 10,000m in 2012... the Kenyan Olympic team!
03/18 Donald Trump donates $100,000 to the Achilles. Actually not the first time he has donated either. A reminder that the Achilles race is coming up - June 26th, Central Park.
I met one of my fave athletes today, Paula Radcliffe. We were talking of this time, the pic above, when Paula came for the Mini. The day after we went for a long run of 20-miles as she kicked off her training for the world championships marathon. I have forgotten the time but remember looking at my watch after that run and calculating that she had run close to the pace she was running in the Mini, not much slower, the day after! Those were the days when She was Planet Paula!
A great set of photos from Reid,who always stays at the High Altitude Training Camp in Iten, Kenya. I saw him the other morning near the front of the famous Iten Fartlek session, near the end of the run too! I usually see the foreigners near the back (understandable of course). Check out the link here.03/09 Random Kenya - in Iten, Kenya I met Sakis & Giorgos, George, and their great team... standing on Kamariny track, in the middle of nowhere! They are going round the world producing a TV show in exotic places like Dubai, NYC... and Iten! The mind boggles. Whilst standing on the track I saw Joseph Cheromei - an old name from the running world! Those who are out and about at 7 am...
ON another note the rain came down so hard my windshield wiper fell off! Thanks to Andy for jumping out the car and fixing it... Other news Cow feeds are expensive we find!
03/06 Check out the New Kenyan coaching/training site built and owned by elite steeplechaser Haron Lagat. It is called The Kenyan way - thekenyanway.com and it promises to teach you the true methods of Kenyan running from a Kenyan perspective of a coach who is Doing it!
Meanwhile we hear that a Kenyan, no surprise, wins the weekend's top profile race; the Lake Biwa Marathon in 2:09
An excelent fact sheet showing the truth of the reality of the Running world right now... well 2013 (and many say it is getting worse by the day) LINK By Peter Gambaccini.
03/03 Mo Farah talks of retiring... but only from the track after 2017, then it will be full focus on the marathon.
Adidas drops IAAF... IAAF drops the Adidas 'IAAF' New York meet... I guess that was going to happen. Maybe the surprise is that they have replaced it with a Moroccan meet.
Abeba Aregawi, Sweden’s former world 1500m champion, has tested positive for illegal performance enhancing drugs. Married to Ethiopia’s Yemane Tsegay, silver medalists in the marathon at last year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing her positive test came from an out of competition testing in Ethiopia. Meanwhile the Tokyo Men’s marathon winner E. Negesse (one of the ‘2:04-Dubai crew’) has also tested positive. More Ethiopian names to come say the insiders.
Question to Abbott Labs, sponsors of the World Majors Marathons... With so many WMM winners getting caught maybe investment in an East African lab might be wise?
other while of the day - Safaricom is a foreign company in Kenya that rules the cell industry. I have two SIMS - one T-Mobile, one Safaricom. Data set to T-Mobile yet when I sleep in Kenya my Safaricom 'credit' gets drained! Call up Safaricom, register a complaint, get no answer in the allotted time, call back, call back, four days later - no plausible explanation. I get numerous messages of others with the same issue when I post on their web page. Here is to hoping that T-Mobile go global!02/22/16 Question of the day - why do we call our teachers Mr. and Mrs and Sir.. yet we call the politicians Bernie, Trump and Obama, or Hillary?The lottery is now closed for the TCS New York City Marathon. [link]. If you don't get in lottery and want to run the race we hope that you will consider running for team Shoe4Africa [LINK]. The entries are opening up next month.Went for a run with Gaby from Argentina and Alex, from Long Island... in Central Park. Gaby is from Argentina and his wife has a charity called Women Across Frontiers based here in the city (will be checking to see if we can partner). Gaby and I finished at 6.6 and Alex added miles... that is how it goes! #NYC Half marathon.
Lovely story and the reason why it caught my eye was the 106-yr old woman had exactly the SAME advice that 107 -yr old Al Gordon had - Keep Moving! The lady is dancing at the White House! ABC link.
I tell you when people who live to be three digits you should listen to their every word.
Meanwhile the NY Times has an article about parents now being the New NYC landlords due to rent prices. One can only imagine.
"Minus one!" It was pitch dark when I left the apartment at 6:10 am but I was wearing sunglasses. Why? I was not doing a Bluesbrothers stunt I was merely trying to keep my eyeballs from freezing solid. I was meeting Rodney, whom I am pictured with above 'inside' his Salon on West Broadway. Funnily enough what was probably a decade ago NYC had its massive snow fall. I went for a run in the park with a friend called Anne. We met very, very few people - but we met Rodney!
So the last time I saw Rodney was in Tanzania when we were running the fund raiser run... before last week. So we arrange to go for a run n coffee and what a day to pick, again a monster day! In eight miles of running (7-miles of which through Central Park & 1 in Harlem)there was a total of three other runners! I have never ever done such a deserted loop of Central Park.
Cold revisited: in my younger days, running in Sweden, up near Haparanda... yes there was colder, but these days I am weak! Of course running through the Icelandic winters was also no joke.
02/13 "I failed 3 times in college. I applied 30 times to get a job but I have always been rejected. When KFC came to China for the first time, we were 24 to apply and I was the only one to be dismissed. I wanted to go into the police and 5 postulants, I was the only one not to be accepted. I applied 10 times to return to Harvard University USA and I was rejected." Jack Ma, Alibaba Creator and 22nd in the World's fortune according to Forbes in 2015 with $ 29.8 billion.What is 5-degrees Fahrenheit in celsius? I know it is cold. And that is the temperature slated for tomorrow morning at 6 AM when I am going to meet my friend Rodney. Let's not forget the wind chill will make it worse. I have to run two miles to get to where we are going to meet and I think I will be an ice block.
Nevertheless I am not complaining because I will be running the whole time. Back in the day I used to get up in this type of weather, coach for an hour (either running or standing), meet another client, do the same, often for three hour stints. When you are dressed for running, then you stop you start to get super cold, you stand still coaching the next athlete for an hour... and you have to dress to be able to run, and can't dress to be keeping warm. I recall days when I would come back and run my hands under the water for so long just trying to get the feeling back again. Or worse yet when I used to coach downtown I would have an 8-mile cycle back home with teeth chattering.
I will be thinking of those days ass I set off in the blistering cold.
02/09 Hearing there was chaos at the Eldoret Discovery Half Marathon. Some athletes cutting the course, some running 25km. I can just imagine...
02/08 LA is the place - first with the Superbowl, next with the marathon trials for the Olympics; domestic events of the month. We watched the half time show, being foreigners awaiting 'something' to happen. That is the problem beyond the hype. What's left? I am sure somewhere the money comes back but I can't remember seeing one commercial that knocked the socks off the rocks. And for the singing, well, again after watching Whitney's Superbowl anthem it kind've sets a "goosebumps" performance. I am sure Coldplay were not saying "Phew, that was a classic!"
Meanwhile food at a Mongolian Grill, nice, and thinking one of those hot round cooking slabs would go down great in Eldoret.
Kudos to the French now, by law, having to support food banks!
02/02/26 Fascinating article on Data stealing with Windows 10 - link And what you should do IF you do not have unlimited data. Crafty!
Running down 5th Ave I hear an Ozzie voice cry out - it is my friend Rodney. I have not seen him since Kilimanjaro 2010! He is opening a new store on 5th AVE! He has one on 57th St and West Broadway - talk about prime locations. Looking forward to coffee next week.
We have One free entry to a deserving runner for the Boston Marathon. Check on facebook.
01/28 Adidas stands down as IAAF sponsor in light of the recent scandals? Sounds like it and who blames them.
Went to the NYC marathon Charity meeting today for all people who are charity managers for the official teams of 2016 - we are! Hope you will join us, run a marathon for our mission to help impoverished kids get healthcare and education - Changing lives, saving lives.
And here is the fast man's word - Usain Bolt on the IAAF issue: LINKAnd, some good news, Allyson Felix is returning to the NYRR Millrose Games for the first time since she was a teenager and racing in an exceptional 60-meter dash field that will help to launch her 2016 season up at the Armory at 168th ST. - Is that correct? I met her at Millrose when it was at MSG and I am sure that was not so many years ago was it??
01/27 Went to a dinner at the hotel Viceroy on 57th ST - there are so many little hotels here in NYC, how do they all do business?
Walking up 6th ave an ambulance was blaring its way through to get through a deluge of buses and taxis. Super sad that no-one was giving way. I was walking faster than the ambulance... poor person inside. I mean I can understand buses, but taxis? I made ten blocks and with every block the ambulance fell further behind.
Downtown to West Broadway - memories from the 2000's when a friend gave me an apartment to look after down there. Met the founder of a cool new sunglasses company - trying them out tomorrow. Let there me sun. Okay, no rain... well even if there is rain they have these snappy new water/oil lenses that slick off the rain, plus anti-glare on both sides of the lens just in case you have a reflective sun creeping in behind you. And a million other little design things... cool.
01/25 Sold out for the Half - thank you runners for your support, really appreciate it!
La Guardia Airport to Harlem: The 'ride' from hell... with a flight not affected by the weather I was planning on being in NYC by 5 0’clock today. Plans changed when my domestic connecting flight, coming in from Tampa to Miami was delayed, and delayed. Nevertheless got into NYC at 6:10pm to La Guardia – an airport so close that with no traffic it takes me 12-mins to get home. At this time I was thinking 30-40 mins... The airport was jammed.
The taxi line was horrendous. The guy at the front of the line was staying it was an estimated wait of three hours. I went to the bus stop and waited. Waited, and waited. It was freezing cold, I was as usual, improperly dressed for standing still for over an hour. Spoke to a lady, she’d been there for almost two hours. A bus comes, from number, and plus it was bombarded.
Another twenty minutes, another bus came Q48 – had no idea where it was going but I took it. Getting out of the airport was horrendous. The bus driver said it was a day like no other. Reminded me of Nairobi traffic. We go to drop off a TSA worker and get stuck in another jam. Long story short, local through Queens, got off on the subway, took the local to Grand Central. All trains running local here… from LGA to home took three hours forty minutes… instead of twelve! It took me just under three to get from Miami to NYC! Crazy. Anyway, relieved to have got back, some people, whose flights we canceled on Sat/Sun are still in Miami waiting for seats on planes.
01/24 We sponsor a soccer club, or two, in Kenya - here they are, or at least a couple of them, after winning the Nacada Cup>
They were supposed to be playing in yellow. Apparently the person who went to place the order for the kits was a Chelsea fan... duped!
Last entry for the NYC half? Wanna run the streets of NYC, through Times Square, for Team Shoe4Africa to help the kids over in Kenya? Please get in touch asap!In Miami, on the roads, pushing a chair, having fun! At mile 8
01/23 The first Majors race is a month away... IAAF report. A good Kenyan presence there, and hoping for a good result from Abel Kirui who is hoping to run in the Kenyan Olympic team in Rio.
01/22 Running news, another 'unknown' wins the Dubai Marathon. Anybody see a trend here always happening in Dubai? Again, until there is a professional team approach with groups of tested runners coming into races with a blood passport of at least 6-months testing for any major marathon I think the sport will continue to be a battlefield. All the steps are there for the taking.
My latest accommodations...
I have been in Miami, Florida at the Eden Roc Nobu hotel. Funny in Kenya we were discussing Ocean Views Versus the Great Rift Valley. From Iten's escarpment there is no question of the winner!
01/21 My digs in Utah - pretty nice, check out the grand lodge. The restaurant downstairs beginning with the letter L makes a great avocado salad!
01/20 My plan is to learn how to make everything come to the same place. I have just jumped onto Instagram, my account has just become live, then there is twitter - terrible at that one too, then there is facebook, then the Shoe4Africa blog -- I need all to go to one place. Well maybe not the twitter as I have a real problem putting everything in 140- characters - #windbag.On the weekend I went to Utah for the day, yup. What is even stranger is I decided to go on Saturday night at 10:30 pm after an invite. On Sunday at 6 AM I was in a car to the airport. On Monday morning I was heading home! I stayed at the Grand Lodge close to St. George, at Brian's Head - America's highest ski lodge hotel I believe. I came home via Utah to Arizona, to Nevada and was back in NYC at 10pm on Monday night! I traveled on my least favorite airline, in a middle seat. I pressed the recline button and the seat fell back just one inch. I am not kidding. I felt like I was leaning forward for five hours. Hint - Do not fly United Airlines economy. What was worse is my (kind) friend offered to fly me in First Class but that would have meant leaving 90-minutes earlier. Considering I had not packed, and had only arrived from two international flights two days earlier, crossing two continents I went for the extra 90-minutes. I really, really regretted the decision later.
Flying home, on United Airlines, was the same - middle seat 100% uncomfortable. Well I was warned, I still recall the day one of the Stewardess's told me, "We are in the transportation business, not comfort." There you go - personally I try my hardest to fly American when I am in the USA...
01/17 New York City - great article on David Bowie, and his New York City. As it was John Lennon's New York City. link
I was reading an article on the British Airways flight, as you do on the plane about the capital cities of the world and what is #1. A subjective conversation in words the writer, for his (or her?) vote gave the run down to two cities - London and NYC, and the nod to Britain. It left me realizing the British writer had never lived in one of the two cities...
01/07 New Year New Project! The Shoe4africa Eat & Run Kitchens are starting to be built soon following the official ground breaking on January 7th in Eldoret, Kenya. Even Kenya's second largest hospital, that sits close by, doesn't have purposely built Kitchens and instead uses a house that is badly converted. So we are lucky. thanks to donors in Germany who are supporting this project: Asante Shoe4Africa Germany.
01/06 Zero confidence in the IAAF - link as the Swiss jump ship. Next link from All Africa newsNews at the Farm; Fluffy is doing well. He is now convinced he is a cow, and a calf at that!
01/04 We have a Shoe4africa office at the Hospital and we have... an Internet connection! Amazing. Things I would never take for granted.
Running wise many more runners have now come out of the holiday mode and the Home of Champions is swarming with runners. Gladys Chesir, the world's fastest road 10k runner last year, came by with a smile this morning.
If anyone knows of a city that would like to be a sister city to Iten please do email...
01/02 At the children's hospital... and it is nice as I start to get visitors. Kids are now playing on the swings out in the gardens. I met the steeplechase legend Moses Kiptanui for a cup of tea and a chat about farming.Linet Masai, a resident of Iten, wins the last race of the year in Madrid Spain in a sterling 31:38 again - and Mike Kigen takes the men's title in a fast 27:35.
Train at High Altitude. Many people ask me - "How can I go and train in Kenya?" I recommend one place; email firstname.lastname@example.org 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
*Exclusive use of the private LKSA tartan track*Swimming Pool*Gym*CCTV 24hr security - G4S 24hr security*Internet Lounge*(2)Restaurant(s)*