Felix Limo's "House of Ugali", by Toni Reavis, note by Larry Eder

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Felix Limo, one of the most dominating road racers of his era, has retired. Toni Reavis, one of the top bloggers on the sport of running, and more prominently, one of the key TV announcers for road running, has written a humorous recollection of his friend. 

Limo_FelixFV1a-London06.jpg
Felix Limo, 2006 Virgin London Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

FELIX LIMO'S "HOUSE OF UGALI"

by Toni Reavis

Felix Limo Winning London 2006

Felix Limo Winning London 2006

     The night after the 2000Carlsbad 5000 a number of athletes, Elite Racing staffers and friends had gathered at the Red Sea Ethiopian Restaurant in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood for a post-race celebration and send-off dinner.

The day before America's Deena Drossin had set a new American road 5Km record off her 15:08 win in the women's race.  But the headline of the day belonged to Kenya's Sammy Kipketer, who had destroyed the men's field -- and the eight year-old world record -- with his sub-4:00 first mile, 13:00 torching of the famed, seaside course.  Behind, in fifth place came fellow Kenyan Felix Limo in 13:31.

I recall this memory, because today I read that Felix Limo has announced his retirement from competitive racing at age 32 after a marvelous career that peaked in 2004 with his pair of 2:06 wins at the Rotterdam and Berlin Marathons.  Felix was the fastest marathoner of the year in 2004 (2:06:14, Rotterdam) and a subsequent winner in Chicago 2005 and London 2006.

At that Red Sea dinner in the spring of 2000, however, I was sitting next to Felix who was the lone Kenyan athlete at the party, and I fixed him with this question.

"Felix, why is it that in almost every city you go to around the world you will find an Ethiopian restaurant, but never, ever a Kenyan restaurant?  Don't you find that odd?"

Of course, Ethiopian fare is world renowned for its spicy kick, while the basic Kenyan staple, Ugali -- which is white corn meal -- is particularly bland by comparison.  Felix took my question in thoughtfully, though he easily read through the kidding nature of the query.  Then, with a sweep of his hand as if to showcase the large neon sign he would erect, he replied.

"You know, when I retire I will open Felix Limo's House of Ugali."

Myself, and those sitting close by laughed heartily, and Felix smiled in his impish sort of way.

"Yeah, and you will promptly go broke," I retorted, saluting him with a lift of my glass.

Well, I'm sure Felix doesn't recall this Carlsbad memory.  In any case, he was a great runner, and delightful dinner companion.  We wish him well in his future exploits. But, Felix, I will anxiously await for any franchise opportunities in the Felix Limo House of Ugali chain.  The best to you, as always.

 

END

Toni Reavis | January 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Tags: Carlsbad 5000Felix Limo,Red Sea Restaurant San Diego | Categories: Journal Entries | URL:http://wp.me/p1p8ec-1uF

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