Justin Lagat did this piece on the 2020 Eldama Ravine Half Marathon and how events in Kenya are being held. Unlike North America, countries in Africa have managed the pandemic much better than the U.S.
With strict adherence to the covid 19 protocols, the Eldama Ravine Half Marathon was successfully conducted this weekend, the 28th of November, under the new normal situation in the country.
It was another rare opportunity for runners to experience a race weekend atmosphere and the routine of picking up the race numbers the evening before the race, finding a good place to spend the night, planning what to eat before bedtime, and making sure that all is ready for the race in the morning.
A day before the race, on Friday the 27th, I started my journey from Eldoret to Eldama Ravine town at around 2 pm in the company of three other runners, which was a two hours’ drive. Race officials had erected a tent within the town in which they received runners arriving from different parts of the country, issuing them with race numbers and guiding them on where they could easily find accommodation.
Eldama Ravine is a great and beautiful destination to visit and watch beautiful landscapes, trees, and some wild animals in the adjacent Lembus forest. Not to mention the kind and welcoming residents of the town.
A number of hotels were already booked to capacity, and when we arrived at the one where we found a vacant room, the lady at the reception was so kind. She told us that they value hosting runners so much and was as excited as we were about the half marathon event. She even identified one runner among us who had stayed in the same hotel during two of the past editions of the same race.
Early in the morning, there were buses taking runners in two different directions. The half marathon race started on the opposite side of town such that they had to cross the town before reaching the point where the 10km event started and proceed to the same finishing point out of town.
Both the established and upcoming stars got a chance to gauge their level of fitness against the rest of the runners. There were different levels of runners that made it to the top ten positions; the lesser-known names got a chance to be signed into new managements by the talent scouts at the venue.
Great and scenic topographies are great for all kinds of visitors to a destination, but it means tough and hilly courses for the runners. Most runners talked about the tough conditions after the race but took it positively to mean that it was going to prepare them well to tackle any other future races more easily. One of the runners even claimed that the runners who did well here were those who participated in a tougher mountain race a week ago.
Evaline Chirchir and Mateiko Daniel won the women and men’s half marathon races respectively, while Norah Jeruto and Kenneth Renju won the 10K races.
In general, Eldama Ravine is one great race that puts the runners first with great organization and support from the local population as well as the administration.
I am already looking forward to the next edition!