LESSONS FROM THE BEST – KENYAN TRIALS AND JOHN NGUGI

A major focus of the expedition is to work out what makes the Kenyans the best in the world at long distance running.

As background at the last world championships one Kenyan village won more medals than the UK, France or Germany.

Running School in Kenya

Running School in Kenya


The Kenyan championship trials did not disappoint. Where else on Earth would you have reigning Olympic champions like Ezekiel Kemboi coming 6th in his national champs, and world champion Linet Masai suffering the same fate. The sheer volume of world class performers was the most staggering aspect.

We met a few runners of distinction there, and enjoyed running with a local club – the Rongai runners in Nairobi. ALL of their runners were faster than me, with their mentor John Ngugi who is a 5-time world champion, and Olympic champion telling us what makes humans his runners successful.

John Ngugi & Andrew Murray

John Ngugi & Andrew Murray

Hard work (Ngugi often hit 270km per week), self belief, and dedicating yourself to your goal were clear messages, along with the importance of peer support and role models.

The Rongai runners

The Rongai runners

It is difficult to express how valuable the nuggets of information we can take from these greats are, and it was a pleasure to deliver some trainers courtesy of Merrell UK to support the important work of the join Ngugi foundation.

The 50km a day ticks along in the background. Running with these guys makes it easier but I have yet to think a day was easy.

Andrew