Kenya 2014 – Dispatch 1
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.