When Eliud Kipchoge ran to the finish line with only one shoe a lot of people were astonished. However what would leave many people’s mouth agape is that he had broken the Berlin Marathon record. He finished at 02hours, 01 minute and 16 seconds. He broke the record which was previously held by a fellow compatriot Dennis Kimetto. While you might have already tried your luck with Betyetu on other marathons, this is one development that you cannot miss.
What does it mean for Kenyans?
The Kenyan flag has always been raised high at various marathons. Honestly, most world records are held by them. For instance, since 1988 20 of 25 first place were held by men from Kenya. So, this begs the question is it a story of good genes, hard work or stamina?
Western studies have always tried to racially theorize why Kenyans and most Africans, in general, are such good athletes.
When you visit the Rift Valley of Kenya that is where these champions hail from. Their land has been dubbed the home of champions and I don’t need to tell you why again.
A lot of people speculate that these Kenyans are good at marathons because of their bone structure and the environment. These have been based mostly on their culture. When you look at a young Kenyan and an average American child there is a huge difference. Most of these Kenyans have trained all their lives running and walking for long distances when they are trying to make it to school or just survive.
On the other hand, an American kid does not walk to school, that’s why they invented buses. This might be one of the reasons why Americans fail to withstand long marathons.
Studies have gone further to point out that bone structure and body mass index(BMI) have an impact on a Kenyan marathoner. A Kenyan basically has a shorter torso, longer legs, small body mass and slender limbs. These physical traits have been used to explain why they are so good at marathons.
Moreover, the Rift Valley is known as the home of archaeology. A lot of human bones which depict evolution have been found here. So, scientists have gone ahead to argue that maybe just maybe the people from this region have gone ahead to “evolve” to better marathoners.
However, these studies are just mere speculations. Not all Kenyan marathoners come from Rift Valley but what makes them good is the determination to make their country proud.
When you ask any Kenyan what is the secret to being a great marathoner the answer will be:- consistency, proper workout, training hard and resting hard. These are all the ingredients anyone will need if they are looking into long distance running.
There is a lot one can learn from a Kenyan marathon. But maybe things will sink in more easily if one simply trains with them for a week. Then one will truly learn a lot.