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Kenya 2014 – Dispatch 1

January 20, 2014

I’m back in Iten, Kenya, “The Home of Champions” for the fourth year in a row. I keep coming back here for the great weather, world-class runners, 8000 feet of altitude, great running loops and the overall experience. This time I’m here for six weeks and once again I’m staying at the High Altitude Training Centre. Iten keeps growing, there is more traffic, more guest houses and more foreigners here every year. There is also a new six-lane tartan track which just opened up.

This year I travelled here with Kyle Boorsma and John Mason. We are collectively known as #WazunguWatatu (three foreigners, or white people).  It’s a solid crew and we’ve already had a cool adventure hiking to some waterfalls and spotting a bunch of monkeys jumping through the trees.  The internet is pretty crappy here this year so I won’t include pictures in the blogs but, will try to get stuff up on Instagram when I’m able.

This is my 10th day in Iten. The first 10 days always seem to be the toughest as I’m getting over jet-lag, acclimating to altitude and getting used to the hilly terrain.  Once I pass the three week mark I typically really start to get into the groove up here.  This altitude stint should give me a good base before I return to Guelph.

Since I’ve been here my training has been consistent but it’s clear I’m not in shape yet. Up here I know my fitness will come around, especially with solid 30km runs like the one I had today.  A massive group left the camp together but we quickly separated into many small groups. By 26km we had a tight group of Mo Farrah, Marius Ionescu (finished one spot ahead of me at the Olympic Marathon) and Arne Gabius (13:12 5000m).  It was my furthest run since the Fukuoka marathon and it felt good to feel like I’m training for the marathon again.  I’ll need a lot more runs like that to prepare myself for the London Marathon.

Yep, I’m planning on running the Virgin London Marathon on April 13th.  I wasn’t announced in the press release but I am confirmed to race.  Unlike Fukuoka I have no plans on running with the lead pack here!!  There is supposed to be another paced group that should closely suit my goal time. Looking forward to that. But first I must get fit and prepared.

  1. Lynn permalink
    January 20, 2014 6:57 am

    So envious of your great weather Reid and glad your training is going as planned.
    Looking forward to seeing photos when you return to the cold half of the world!

  2. January 20, 2014 9:36 am

    have a great six weeks in kenya reid – looking forward to seeing you at the london marathon!

  3. Fred permalink
    January 20, 2014 12:05 pm

    The sidewalks and roads in Guelph are still covered in ice and snow. Have a great 6 weeks.

  4. Lorna Wiggins permalink
    January 20, 2014 10:34 pm

    Dear Reid, So glad to hear from you. I guess you have heard from your Mother that you are missing Arctic weather. Grandy said it was so cold there. Did you know she is going to have a knee replacement on her right leg? She finally got an MRI and the Dr. who read it said she could have arthroscopic work done but it probably would not last more that 3-4 years and she might as well have the knee replaced. I wanted her to come down here where it is warmed but she said she would need to make decisions about the condo and needed to stay up there. Of course her girls and boys will look after her. Hope you are getting into shape and will enjoy your stay in Kenya. Lots of love, Nornee P.S. It’s even cold down here. Hope you will come see me when you get back.


  5. Craig permalink
    January 21, 2014 2:13 pm

    Oh, just out for a trot with Mo Farrah. No bigee. Cool blog dude. Keep ’em coming.

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