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The Life Of A Kenyan Runner In Canada

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Aug. 10, 2011
  • Updated Aug. 10, 2011 at 10:09 AM UTC
Kenyan runners have a tough life cut out for them in Canada. Photo: The Globe and Mail

Kenyan runners have a tough life cut out for them in Canada. Photo: The Globe and Mail

It’s hardly an easy one.

A trio of Kenyans are the best distance runners currently living in Canada. However, their accommodations, a semi-detached house with yellow siding a few blocks from an industrial area in Hamilton, Canada, are anything but the best.

Their names are Bernard Onsare, Josephat Ongeri and David Karanja; they may come in first in races, but they still need day jobs.

They work in a pharmaceutical supply warehouse where they pack orders for hospitals. Whatever free time they have is spent training. Ongeri has to wake up at 4 a.m. in order to get a run in before his shift starts two hours later. The other two run later, because they have night shifts.

“In this country, the days are too short,” says Karanja. “We have so many things to do, so you’ve got to squeeze yourself no matter what. You have to have a strong mental attitude, otherwise there’s no way you can make it in this life.”

For More: The Globe and Mail

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com 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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