Kenyans run up the hills as stars shift up a gear
Posted Monday, July 9 2012 at 19:49
Team Kenya stepped up preparation in Nairobi with a section of the athletics team moving their morning training base to Kimuka area in Ngong’.
The session in Kimuka area - where athletes ran from between 45 minutes to one hour and 20 minutes covering a distance of between 10km to one hour and 20 minutes - confirmed their resolve to stick to home training.
The 12 athletes featuring 1,500m to 10,000m men and women hit the terrains from deep inside Kimuka at a place christened “Umbrella” owing to its giant acacia tree canopies shortly past 11am.
The athletes tore through the dusty Kimuka plains before ascending a challenging three-kilometre hill to the summit at Kibiko under the watchful eyes of coaches Julius Kirwa and Peninah Talam, and physiotherapist Daniel Korir.
The journey down the “Umbrella” area could not have ended without some interesting moments.
At one moment, male athletes had to disembark from the ultra modern Athletics Kenya bus to help their driver Samuel Omondi navigate through the gullies with the vehicle’s base almost touching the rocky grounds.
At one time Omondi was spoilt for choice with the varying directives from athletes but it’s coach Kirwa’s humorous commands that came in handy to plough the Korean make bus through.
“Well, those are some of the challenges we go through but it’s inspiring you know,” said Kirwa with a telling laughter.
The 1,500m athletes covered 45 minutes while the women’s 5,000m and both the men and women’s 3,000m steeplechase 55 minutes.
The men’s 5,000m athletes and women’s 10,000m ran for one hour while men’s 10,000m took one hour and 20 minutes.
Besides track sessions at Kasarani, Kirwa said the athletes have alternated training sessions at Kasarani, Karura Forest and Ngong.
“We are trying out aerobic and anaerobic variations in view of monitoring the speed and endurance of the athletes.
“Kimuka is a low altitude and hot area, a condition we are likely to face in London while Karura is high with good, fresh air hence both provides good training grounds,” said Kirwa.
Olympic and World 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop and his metric mile counterpart Nixon Chepseba and the 10,000m team of Wilson Kiprop, Bedan Karoki, Joyce Chepkirui and Sally Kipyego attended the training in Ngong.
Also in the mix were Viola Kibiwott (5,000m) and steeplechase team of Brimin Kipruto, Ezekiel Kemboi, Abel Mutai and Lydia Rotich.
World 800m champion and record holder David Rudisha and Olympic 800m champion Pamela Jelimo were set for Ngong training int he afternoon.