Saturday, 26 February 2011

Iten Road Races

Yesterday in Iten we had two road races, for the men a half marathon (although it ended up only being 18.6km) and for the women a 10km race. We had five guys and one girl from the camp running so lots of interest. The races started from different places and at different times, the men's race was starting down by the view point in Iten then running up a steep hill of maybe 2km into Iten town then working it's way down for about 8km towards Eldoret turning onto a dirt track then winding it's way back up into Iten and finishing on the Iten playing field.

By some unknown reason Ken was the lead vehicle for the men's race and I got to watch the entire race unfold from out of the sunroof. The start as usual was very disorganised and a bit of a free for all, but once they were running things went relatively smoothly. After about 3km a group of 10 had made a break from the rest of the runners led by my friend and former camp member Isaac, they passed 5km in 15minutes and 10km in 29.40! The second half of the race was nearly all up hill with a head wind and the group all of a sudden split very quickly, with about 4km to go another one of our runners, Edwin, made a break and quickly grew a lead of 50 – 100m, unfortunately for Edwin he had pushed too early and up one of the steep hills you could see him visibly tense up and start to struggle, he quickly was caught by the eventual winner but managed to hold on and finish in 4th position, Isaac had a great run finishing in 6th place, we also had a guy called Felix finish in 8th so some good running for the Run-Fast team. In the women's 10km Sarah finished a very credible 12th position just out of the money (top 10).
The prize giving again was a bit chaotic and when they called out the top ten to collect the prizes they didn't call Isaacs name, I took him to see the officials who informed him he had been disqualified for taking a short cut! How they decided this I don't know but I spoke to them and said I could prove with photos and videos that he was in the lead pack the whole way, luckily they thought I looked a trustworthy fellow and reinstated him in the results!

The eventual winner pulling away from Edwin

Today as always is long run today, for me it was 30km. I was cruising along nicely going at a pace close to my marathon pace when some random guy pulls up beside me in a full tracksuit and starts chatting, not good for my confidence! Luckily he went his own way and I could concentrate on my own running. Although the last 5km was very hilly I still managed to knock nearly 2 minutes off my best time so a good confidence booster with two weeks until my half marathon.

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