The venue for the Kenyan National Cross country championships, photo by Justin Lagat
This is Justin Lagat’s view of the upcoming Kenyan National Cross Country Championships, which are being held this coming weekend. Justin visited the Lobo Village, the site of the event, today, January 20, 2022.
Beginning this weekend, with the Kenyan national cross country championships, a lot of focus will be on Eldoret from all athletic fans across the world. The same venue that will host the national championships on Saturday, the 22nd will be the same one that will host the World Athletics Cross country Tour event next month on the 12th of February.
While the Kenyan national cross country championships have often been followed closely by fans across the world due to the fact that the top three finishers here would often medal at the world cross country event, it will enjoy some extra focus this year given that the rest of the world will be curious to check out the venue that will host the first world cross country tour event in Africa.
Visiting Lobo Village, the venue for the event, photo by Justin Lagat
When RunBlogRun visited the Lobo Village today (20th January 2022), the venue for the event, it was a beehive of activities; tents were being erected in some places, the muddy section of the course was being sprayed with water, the course was being barricaded and general cleanliness being done almost everywhere. At some places on the green and well-manicured lawn, officials could be seen holding some brief meetings, apparently to make sure that everything was in order.
“There is an Ineos Marathon that will be held in Vienna, Austria,” the speakers boomed with one of the vernacular hit songs that rocked the city of champions in 2019 as technicians tested the sound systems. The song would remind one of the last few days before Eliud Kipchoge would write history by running a marathon in under 2hrs. That same mood that filled the air when something big was about to happen in Vienna could already be felt here in Eldoret.
Preparations for the Kenyan National Cross Country Championships, photo by Justin Lagat
This will be the second time that the “semi-world” cross country championships will be happening in Eldoret. The last time was in 2019 and the venue was full. All the tall trees, roof-tops, fire engines, lorries, and any high points around the venue were all filled to capacity by the spectators who didn’t want to miss any action at the Eldoret Sports Club. The venue has been changed, but it is still within ten kilometers from the former.
For the top Kenyan runners who have already earned their spots to participate at the national championships by having won in their various regional and institutional championships, they will be further seeking to get some good results here to earn invitations to run at the Memorial Agnes Tirop cross country next month.
Visiting the site of the 2022 Kenyan National Cross Country Championships, photo by Justin Lagat