Cross country a useful build-up to track season

Thursday January 4 2018

Kiprono Sitonik (195) leads the front  pack in the men’s under20 8km race of the Athletics Kenya Nairobi Cross Country Series meet at Posta ground, Ngong on November 4, 2014. Sitonik won the race. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kiprono Sitonik (195) leads the front pack in the men’s under20 8km race of the Athletics Kenya Nairobi Cross Country Series meet at Posta ground, Ngong in 2014. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BARNABA KORIR

With the Christmas and New Year’s festivities now behind us, it’s time to get down to business and focus on the season ahead.

However, this does not come easy and one has to really toil.

Of course, I know for those seasoned athletes, it’s not the time to start but to continue and take their training to the next level.

However, those targeting the Commonwealth Games have to get serious because we have just three months for them to book their tickets for Gold Coast show in April.

If I may quote the former national athletics team coach Mike Kosgei, cross country running is always key in preparations for track and those headed to Australia should incorporate this in their training.

LOCAL SERIES

This is why I want to urge all athletes aspiring to take part in the Commonwealth Games to be part and parcel of local series that is ongoing.

We all know that Kapswony in Trans Nzoia will be the final in the Athletics Kenya (AK) cross country series this weekend and I would like to see some remarkable difference in terms of the crowd. Next on the line will be the Kenya Defence Forces x-country on January 12 at Moi Air Base, Nairobi, and this is exclusively for the soldiers.

National Police (Ngong Race Course), Kenya Prisons (Uhuru Gardens) and counties cross country meetings will be held on the same day, on January 14.

Kenya universities cross country on January 20 wraps up the regional championships.

All the meetings will culminate in the National Cross Country Championships on February 10 at Uhuru Gardens which will also serve trials for the Africa Cross Country Championships on March 17 in Algeria. Clearly, gauging by the calendar, there is no time to sit on our laurels, especially for those aspiring to make their dreams come true this year.

PLAN

The calendar is packed and all our athletes need to plan their respective races and how they want to build up towards them.

To be honest, victory will only come to those who start early. We can’t achieve anything by waiting until the last minute to start training.

This being a Commonwealth Games year, I’m extending my advise not only to athletes but also to the disciplines.

It’s time we diversified instead of over-relying on athletics. We all know that Kenya once was a powerhouse in boxing, volleyball and hockey and this can be revived with time. In the past Commonwealth events, we have also done well in swimming and I am sure, we can still produce more Dunford brothers (David and Jason).

Having said that, I want to lead from the front because i happen to have been given the honours of leading the team tp Commonwealth Games.

Let us make 2018 a year to be proud of.

Korir, Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch chairman, is also head of Kenya’s team to the 2018 Commonwealth Games: [email protected]