David Thuo has achieved what most of Kenya’s elite runners haven’t: Running all but one of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) races.
With six big city marathons making up the circuit, Thuo, has completed five — in Boston, New York, London, Chicago and Berlin.
The Wilson Airport-based aircraft engineer was to complete his collection of WMM medals in Tokyo last March, but the race in Japan’s capital was called off as the coronavirus reared its ugly head.
He still has Tokyo in his cross hairs, a befitting celebration of 20 years of fun running and fitness by the engineer.
On Monday, Thuo will take on a different challenge: To run the marathon in under three hours.
Never mind that his personal best over the 42-kilometre distance is already a sub-three hour time (2:38 in last year’s Berlin Marathon), the 43-year-old father of three’s challenge will have the extra drive of raising funds for charity.
Benefit over 20 families
Dubbed the “Kahara Madaraka Day Sub-3 Challenge Attempt,” Thuo’s initiative might not be as grand as Eliud Kipchoge’s Ineos 1:59 Challenge, but it will benefit over 20 vulnerable families.
“We have run many times for charities abroad, and I thought it would be important for us to direct this energy to helping out in Kenya to help families that have, for instance, been unable to pay rent due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the much-travelled Thuo explained on Sunday as he prepared for today’s challenge.
“Some friends and family members have pledged Sh500 per kilometre for each of the 42.2 kilometres if I run the tough route in under three hours, and half of that amount if I miss the mark,” he adds.
“Others have pledged Sh500 for each kilometre run under four minutes, but only if I hit the sub-three mark.”
Already, Thuo, who trains with his wife Ann, has raised rent for a few families up to next month.
Monday’s challenge, to be run at Ngong, is aimed at raising resources to help the over 20 families in need under the "Adopt a family initiative."
“This initiative is headed by a committee made up of runners but welcomes all well-wishers to support,” he appeals.
“Identify needy cases around you, share with committee for evaluation…”
The challenge will start at 6am at Kahara, Ngong, which Thuo describes as “a beautiful, undulating and tough training route which is the Nairobi equivalent of Iten and Kaptagat and has produced many world record holders.”
He prefers the area also because it’s not too populates and enhances social distancing.
“Running a marathon under three hours is a great achievement for any recreational runner, and the few who have achieved this feat have done so at altitudes near sea level,” he explains.
Thuo’s challenge will be streamed live from 6am on his Fitness with David page, with further details on how to contribute to the cause found on www.davidthuo.com.