i never thought for a million years that i'd be able to help a kenyan become a better runner.
for one thing, i'm no coach like my pal stan (be sure to check out his latest venture here: http://adaptiverunning.com/). i pretty much trip over my own two left feet.
for another thing, i'm so removed from the kenyan running culture and general ethos that i'm not sure that any insight or advice that i could offer would be helpful. especially after having read adharanand finn's running with the kenyans (one of my favourite running reads, by the way) i can appreciate that the success experienced by east africans in the arena of competitive running has to do with so much more than just their environs and physiological makeup. there's simply no way for a first-world wannabe athlete to replicate the conditions of running for survival and livelihood.
but even considering all of that, next summer i will be helping to train the next great runner from kenya ... with the help of the TRANscend Running Academy and the ENDURRun race event.
the ENDURRun is a multi-stage, multi-surface race that takes place over eight days. while there are various entry options to tackle some or all of the seven different stages, i am registered for the 'ultimate' category which means that i will be a team of one competing in all seven. the ENDURRun also presents the opportunity for a segment of the racers to also be fundraisers, and so after some discussion with my fellow Barrie RunNinjas i am officially attempting to raise $1000 in support of the TRANscend Running Academy.
the Academy is the brainchild of elite marathoner and kenyan parliamentarian wesley korir along with the filmmaking team behind TRANscend. their efforts are directed toward providing promising young student athletes with the ability to access a secondary school education, leadership training and running coaching - none of which would otherwise be an option to them because they are not affordable for villagers living at the subsistence-level (even the great mary keitany tells of barely finding her way off the family farm). so in a very real way this is about so much more than just giving someone a chance to become a better runner - it's about unleashing possibilities for a brighter future in education, work, and quite possibly reinvesting back into the kenyan community.
why $1000? that's the estimated cost per student per year in the Academy. to us that's less than three dollars per day - and if every one of my Facebook friends donated $0.75 towards this effort i would immediately exceed my goal.
i'm looking forward to running the ENDURRun as a training segment in preparation for my planned first-ever attempt at a 100-miler (at the Run Woodstock Hallucination run). but more than that i'm excited about the possibility of being a small part in shaping the future of a runner, his or her family, and quite possibly the entire country of kenya.
would you please consider partnering with me on this? if so, please visit my fundraising page here: https://raceroster.com/events/2016/6288/the-endurrun-2016/pledge?id=34&type=participant
have you competed as a charity runner at any events? what causes move your heart the most?