This is a good piece by Justin on the tough time athletes have with traveling while in the COVID 19 pandemic.
“It was a little challenging to get the clearance to travel, but all is fine now and I will be flying out later today,” Birgen, through a phone call while in Nairobi to finalize his travel plans, said.
He would have traveled a day earlier since he already had a valid visa from the post-COVID19 era, but had been surprised to learn that he still had to clear a number of issues before being allowed to travel again. Luckily, he was able to meet all the requirements on time.
On Tuesday, he only did three intervals on the track at Eldoret’s Kipchoge Stadium to gauge his fitness level; which he often does before going out to race.
The first of the intervals was more of a time trial for him. I didn’t record the splits, but by watching it, it certainly served a good purpose in boosting his confidence ahead of his trip. In a single file of about fifteen runners, Birgen was in the middle of the pack in the first two laps before slowly overtaking some until he was in a group of four, including his long time training mate and race rival Vincent Kibet, that began to break away. Birgen finally edged everyone in the home straight of the 1600m interval.
— Justin Lagat ðŸ‡°ðŸ‡ª (@kenyanathlete) January 27, 2021
“Compared to the times I would post for the track workouts in the past, I feel that I am in good form now to run well,” he said.
The last time Birgen competed internationally was at the Doha diamond league in September last year. So, it has been a while for him since he last raced.
The Karlsruhe World Indoor Tour meeting on Friday will be Birgen’s first opportunity to compete again. He will be taking part in the men’s 3000m event.
In a resolution to minimize his travels and going through many COVID19 checks and regulations, Birgen has a number of races planned for his one trip before returning to Kenya.