New Book Seeks To Explain Kenyan Dominance

Kenyan runners continue to dominate the sport of long-distance running. Photo: Spikesmag

One journalist spent six months in the East African country looking for the answers.

It’s not much of a surprise to state that Kenyans more or less rule the distance-running world. However, how can such a small country almost always end up on top of the medal podium?

A new book by journalist Adharanand Finn seeks the answer to this question.

RUNNING WITH THE KENYANS is about Finn’s journey in the East African country where he immersed himself in the running culture.

Finn, from Devon in the United Kingdom, uprooted his wife and three children to travel to Iten where he spent six months.

Finn had hoped to find the secret behind the success while on his trip–a secret he could apply in his own running. He notes that one factor differentiating Kenya from the West is the relative fitness of its citizens.

The current world 5000m champion, Vivian Cheruiyot explained to Finn that, “In Kenya, there are only athletes.”

Shared success is another trait common in Kenya. “The runners all come from poor backgrounds, with less education… when they win, the whole village celebrates, and everyone asks for support,” Finn writes.

For More: The East African

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