It's not very often that a book comes out that mirrors your life.....
At the end of 2010 as most people know who follow my blog, I quit work and moved out to the small town of Iten in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya to become a full time athlete and try and keep up with the best distance runners in the world, the Kenyans. At the same time a guy named Adharanand Finn also moved out to Iten with his family to try and discover the secret of the Kenyan runners and write a book about his adventure.
I first met Finn at the Discovery Cross Country in Eldoret, I was sitting in the main stand watching the crazy junior athletes fly around the dry grass circuit when a guy sitting in front of me turned around and said "are you Tom Payn", a bit shocked to be "recognised" all the way out here in Kenya I obviously answered yes and Finn introduced himself telling me that he had seen me race the week before in Iten and that he had been following my blog. From that day on mine and Finns time in Kenya in some ways mirrored each others. I was in Kenya trying to qualify for the GB Olympic marathon team whilst Finn was training for the gruelling Lewa Marathon. We both met and befriended the same group of Kenyans, we both lived and trained in Kenyan running camps and during the time we both spent out in Kenya we became good friends.
Having got my copy of Finns book yesterday I couldn't put it down finishing it this morning, it brought back so many good memories of my time out in Iten. Finn has got such a nice style of writing, he captures so well what it is like to live and train with those amazing athletes. Many of the stories made me chuckle as I remember seeing them first hand. Reading about his two girls experience of attending school out in Iten reminded me how I met them walking back from School that very night. The many athletes that wanted to buy his car, even asking me if I could ask Finn to see if that would help "clinch the deal".
If you want to know what life is like out in Iten or are at all interested in running you won't find a much better read than Finn's book, it goes straight to the top of my favourite books, but I guess a book that has me in it as a character was always going to!!
I've got a link to Amazon on the right hand menu of my blog, so if you want to buy a copy of "Running With The Kenyans" just click on the link and buy it NOW!!!