One Mzungu’s First Race In Kenya

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Feb. 9, 2011
  • Updated Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:06 AM UTC

After three laps, the journalist called it quits.

In a continuation of an ongoing series about Kenyan running, Guardian correspondent Adharanand Finn was in Eldoret to take part in a cross-country race–his first race in Kenya. His goal: not to come in last.

“I’m sure you can beat two,” said a fellow runner to Finn at the start line.

As soon as the starting gun went off, Finn had a hard time keeping up.”It’s like I’ve been shot and I’m falling backwards through the air as they all charge off. I’m sprinting, trying to stay upright, but it’s no good. It’s like a bad dream where your legs won’t move,” he wrote.

The race comprised six laps and by the third lap, Finn decided he had had enough.

“I wave both hands as though something is wrong. It’s not me, it’s the engine. I jog to the side and sit down. I’m dropping out.”

Finn later found out that three-time London Marathon winner Martin Lel was at the same race and finished 33rd, while the reigning 1500m Olympic champion, Asbel Kiprop, dropped out of the race.

For More: Guardian

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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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