You never know what you might find in rural Kenya. Rift Valley Marathon volunteer Michael Stewart captured this great sporting moment in the spring of 2013. This fun clip has now been viewed by more than 2.5 million people.
An ongoing annual series about the connection between Sport and Society, “Footprints 2012” takes IDEAS host Paul Kennedy to the Great Rift Valley, in Kenya. He spends time in the training camp for distance runners that may produce pots of gold at this summer’s London Olympics.
When it comes to world-class distance running, Kenya could be considered the epicentre, Canada the periphery. While we had three marathoners qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games, Kenya had more than 300, with only a slightly higher population than ours, says Rob Reid, race director of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon and owner of two Victoria running stores.
Some say the advantage is in the altitude, the just-right-for-running body type or the hunger to escape poverty. Others say it’s simply that so many Kenyans spend their childhoods running everywhere. “On your morning run you might see hundreds of people out on farm roads, hopping over cattle fences,” says John Carson, founder of Canadian not-for-profit Run for Life. “The running vibe is prevalent anywhere you turn.” Continue reading →
Immerse yourself in local culture and tradition
while racing through some of the most famous
training grounds in the world. Witness firsthand
the impact of Run for Life sponsorship while visiting our community projects. Discover new flavours during visits to tea plantations and enjoy the solace of breathtaking hikes through secluded areas. Feel free to join local church services for moments of reflection, and replenish with a refreshing drink from the traditional ‘calabash’. But most of all, be prepared to experience the exhilaration of this extraordinary running tour.
This is a chance to join a 12 day tour that will showcase some of the most celebrated regions of Kenya. In addition to the race on March 15th, the tour will bring you directly into contact with the Nandi villagers, their culture and their economy. Read More
The Rift Valley Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay will take Runners through the roads of Tebeson, a rural village 30 km West of Eldoret. These dirt roads at 7000ft elevation have been the training grounds for some of Kenya’s most accomplished distance runners such Lel, Cheryiout, Rotich, Kirui, Korir, Biwott, and, Kiprop. Read More
A portion of the race registration fees are directed towards women’s micro credit projects, renewable energy water projects, and a program that links schools in Kenya with schools in the developed world. Read More
Registration is an easy two-part process. First, you will need to register for the marathon and then you will book your travel arrangements with our tour partner. Read More
Running in the Rift Valley Kenya, has been one of my favourite running experiences. There is something very special about running there which leaves you inspired and motivated.
Reid Coolsaet, Canadian Olympic Marathoner, our run for life running advisor for registered runners
The Great Rift Valley produces the greatest runners in the world. Come join us and find out why, and at the same time support great efforts to raise the standard of living in this magical country. You know how running has changed you, now imagine how you can help make positive change through running for so many others."
Kathrine Switzer, first official women to run the Boston marathon, author of Marathon Women
Kenyan runners are among the best endurance athletes in the world.
They train in the highlands of the Great Rift Valley. Join us andfind that magic speed that only exists in the Rift Valley. We are all Kenyans in our dreams."
Bart Yasso - Chief Running Officer of Runner's World Magazine.