Athletics in North Rift

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Athletic LegsPaul Tergat

This is the land of long and middle distance running and the Mecca of all aspiring marathoners. World and Olympic champions that have been born and / or trained in the North Rift are so numerous it would be invidious to mention only a few. However, the name of the current World and Olympic champion at 800m, David Rudisha just has to be mentioned.

Running to Win  Many visitors visit the North Rift for the purpose of high altitude training. Those who intend to run competitively in their home country, or even in international races, must spend a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks in our highlands region (generally over 2000m in altitude) to aquire the physiological changes they desire. They will follow a strict regime of traing, starting gently in the first few days and building up to full work outs just before they leave. Typically they will run with hired, local runners who assist with pacing and companionship as well as acting as route guides.

Running for fun  Another type of "runner"-visitor is non-competitive and comes simply to run in a nice climate, on pollution-free roads and enjoy meeting friendly people along the way. Typically he or she will come with a companion or as part of a small group of friends. The relationship with local runners will be established casually by meeting them on the road ("njiani").

Both types of visitor are equally welcome; they will be respected and assisted by the community and also the County administration. In North Rift, runners have a very high social status because of the fame and fortune of "the son's of the soil" who have become champions.

Where to Stay  All types of visitors who come to run, but particularly the competitive species, should ensure they have arrangements to stay in a reputable hotel or training camp, since quality and suitability of food is an essential consideration. An "upset" stomach just will not do. A running holiday of a different nature may result from not following this advice.

At the present time, the following can be vouched for as having a high standard of hygiene and facilities for serious runners:

Note: this information is in the process of updating

The IOOC High Altitude Camp Eldoret Uasin Gishu County  
Lorna Kiplagat High Altitude Camp Iten Elgeyo Marakwet County  
Kerio View Hotel Iten Elgeyo Marakwet County  






Why so many Champions from this small region?