This is Justin Lagat’s weekly piece on his visit to Kipchoge Keino Stadium, on January 12, 2021.
Photos by Justin Lagat/ Kenyan Athlete.
On a typical track intervals day, a visit to one of the busy tracks in Eldoret, Kapsabet, or Iten is enough to show one the level of competition and the depth of the athletic talents in the country.
At 7:00 AM, it was a cold and cloudy morning in Eldoret on Tuesday the 12th of January 2021. This would usually be a warm, sunny, and dusty morning every other year, but the weather was quite different this time around. With some light clouds blocking the sun, it was good for both the runners who got cool weather to push harder in their intervals and for the photographers who didn’t have to find the right direction to face while taking their pictures.
Most of the tracks in the country had been closed after the social distancing rules were set. But these restrictions have recently been lessened and some sporting activities have begun to be held in the country, and so have the track facilities also been opened for the runners as well.
Judging from the level of the overgrown grass on the field and from the conversations I had with the runners and coaches on the track, it was the first track visit for most of them.
Some renovations are underway in the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret and it was hard for runners to find their way inside since the usual entrances had either been closed or were undergoing some construction work.
But once inside the stadium, you will be reminded that it is an Olympic year after all! There were runners not just from the different parts of the region but from different nationalities as well, warming up for their track interval sessions.