Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Wedding of Charles Koech and Mary Keitany

As the wedding started at 8a.m. I had to make sure I was up nice and early to get training in beforehand. Luckily my training for the day was just two easy runs so I didn't have to rush too much to get ready. As anyone who has been to a wedding in the UK knows, if the wedding starts at 8a.m. you have to make sure you are there before 8a.m. I arrived at the Catholic Church in Iten at about 7.55 and although I wasn't the first there, there weren't many people around, then I remembered that I'm in Kenya!! At about 8.30 the wedding cars started to arrive with Edwin Kipyego given the job of official driver of the wedding car.

Photos in the Church Gardens
We then made our way into the Church and for some reason I seemed to get seated right in the middle of the choir! Not sure why, as if any of them had every heard me sing they would have made me sit as far away from the choir as possible! The Church service was fairly standard if not a bit longer than the weddings I've been to in the UK. At just after 10a.m we made our way out of the Church to be confronted by quite a few people turning up thinking the wedding was meant to start at 10 (the invite did say 10a.m. But was changed at a later date), this general chaos seemed to be quite a theme of the day and very in keeping with the way Kenyans live their lives so I wasn't that surprised, in fact I would have been more surprised if everything had run smoothly! We then took some photos in the Church gardens before more chaotic events trying to fit everyone Into cars for the next part of the wedding.

From L to R, Ken Kibet, Charles Koech, Lillian Rotich, Mary Keitnay and Helen Kimutai

Once allotted a seat in a car we did a strange convoy tour of Iten, from St-Patricks (where the Church was) down to the viewpoint and then back up through Iten to Kerio View for the official photos. By the time all the photos had been done it was time to go to Charles and Mary’s house for the reception. Edwin had told me that there would be a lot of people at the wedding but at the Church there was less than one hundred, now the reception was a different story, half of Iten must have been there! They had a number of Marque style tents set up around a field with a stage in the middle, each tent had a different group of people in, i.e. friends, family etc. and I sat in the athletes tent along with many of the top Kenyan runners including, Geoffrey Mutai (Boston and New York Marathon Champion 2011), Emmanuel Mutai (London Marathon Champion 2011), Wilson Kipsang (Frankfurt Marathon 2011), Edna Kiplagat (World Marathon Champion), Janet Jepkosgei (Former World 800m Champion) and probably many more that I didn't recognise! There was a huge feast of really good Kenyan food put on with more than enough to feed the 500+ people that had turned up. After eating we were treated to some live Kalenjin music by the famous Kalenjin singer Lillian Rotich, this was followed by the traditional cutting of the cake which was distributed amongst the crowds. After the cake we moved on to the speeches, and anyone who has been to any sort of event in Kenya knows that Kenyans love a good speech! These must have gone on for about an hour or so before we had some more live music from Lillian.

Edna Kiplagat handing out the wedding cake

After some more food I said my good byes and took a slow walk back to my place, ready for a good night sleep after a long but thoroughly enjoyable last day of 2011.



  1. What an experience! I don't know you, Tom, but best wishes for 2012. Keep having fun and running fast!

  2. congratulations mr and mrs Koech
    Love is life, and if you miss Love. You miss life.