Dawn in the suburbs. The serious guys start before the sun rises and do 20 km or more before breakfast. They minimise, as far as possible, their interaction with cars and commuters.
Track training 1
A visitor gets to test herself against the locals. She may not be at her best yet; ---- at 2300m altitude, she is probably still acclimatising. This is the old Kamariny Stadium, Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet.
Early morning run 2
Up in the high hills (about 3000 m) it is very hard to get out of bed and face the cold, and often frosty, morning conditions. But, 5 minutes into the run, everybody is warm and well and dreaming of “chai” and “uji” for breakfast.
A mass run
This will sort the men from the boys. In the Rift it is not uncommon to see a hundred or more runners out to qualify for a place in a training camp.
Juniors in competition
Many potential runners come out of the primary school system and it is in these competitions that the future champions are identified. Many trainers and agents will be paying close attention. This is a girls’ race in Kip Keino Stadium, Eldoret.
It takes thousands of hours and litres of sweat but for some, definitely not for all, it pays off in success, honours and financial reward. This is David Rudisha winning in a new 800m world record time.