Today I went to Nyayo Stadium. It is not far from South B, but we took a matatu to get there. When we entered the stadium they had just started the women’s 5k. We made our way around the stadium to sit on the back stretch, beginning of the final curve. I spotted Bro Colm and Bro Elvis and I went down to talk to him. After chatting with him we went back to the stands to watch the rest of the races. I captured video of all the races, but I doubt I will upload them as it would take me a coon’s age to do so. The races were exciting. The men’s steeple featured Brimin Kipruto and Ezekiel Kemboi. Kemboi put on a show as he sat near the back and by the home stretch was vying for the win. Once he knew he would place top two, he let off the speed and finished second. At the Kenya Trials, the top 2 automatically make the Olympic team and the third spot is decided by Athletics Kenya. It was fun to see many of the top Kenyans I have read about competing right before me. During the men’s 5k a man who was not supposed to be in the race toed the line. Before the race the officials even tried to get him off the track. He insisted and they let him start. This man was clearly not an elite runner. He was hefty looking and had a belly on him. By the time the leaders finished he was lapped six or seven times! He was entertaining and the crowd loved his antics, even the announcer was playing along with him. At the US Trials if someone tried to do this, the meet officials would be going nuts. After the races were finished I sought out the famous coach Renato Canova. I had spotted him midway through the meet and wasn’t leaving unless I talked to him. He is one of my biggest heroes! I met up with him on the infield and started chatting with him. His english is rather broken and sometimes it is hard to follow him, but nonetheless, I was able to concentrate and follow what he was saying. I exchanged email addresses with him and even talked about returning to Kenya to work with him. How amazing would that be!? This is a coach of world and olympic champions and world record holders!
On the way out of the stadium we met up with Bro Dan and he introduced me to some of the athletes he knows. He spent some time in Iten, so he is friends with some of the elites he met while there. It was amazing to see someone like Augustine Choge seeing Bro Dan and flagging him down to say hi, then getting to chat with him. I hope a trip to Iten is worked out and Bro Dan says we will spend time with many of the elites he knows living there.