Masters Running In Kenya

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Feb. 11, 2011

Older East Africans enjoy running to stay healthy.

When one thinks of Kenya, one usually doesn’t picture master-level runners. But the concept of competitive older-age runners is alive and well in East Africa. According to an article in the Daily Nation, runners like 75-year-old Mzee John Chepkwony Chepsuge are taking part in races throughout the country. At a recent cross-country race, Chepsuge clocked an impressive 45-minute 12K. Finishing four minutes ahead of him was 60-year-old Julius Lagat.

Lagat, who’s been running since the 1970s, stays fit by riding a bicycle throughout neighboring villages as he looks for chicken to buy and resell. “I was running with Kipchoge [Keino] in those years,” he said. Keino was the gold medalist in the 1,500m event at the 1968 Olympics.

Chepsuge keeps up his fitness by farming and tending to his cows . “I have been running for about 10 years now and I am not ready to quit because it is one way of exercising,” he said.

Both runners note that running has helped them stay healthy and avoid illness.

For More: Daily Nation

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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