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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's next

Yesterday Catherine left for the Bogota Half Marathon which will be run on Sunday August 2, 2009. She had a short layover in Miami to collect her visa and she should arrive in Columbia later today. The Bogota race is not an easy one because it is held at such a high altitude. For comparison, Catherine trains in Ngong, Kenya which is a hilly area with an average altitude of just over 2000 meters or 6500 feet. The altitude in Bogota is 2600 meters which is just over 8500 feet! Catherine won this race in 2006 but she will tell you that it is definitely not easy to run at that altitude.

Here's hoping she has a good race!

photo: Catherine Ndereba at 2005 World Championships courtesy of Victah Sailer

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Birthday Girl!

I can attest to the dedication of Catherine and the other Kenyan athletes; I decided to visit Catherine on her birthday and take some new photographs during the track workout this morning. At 6am near my house it was raining quite steadily so I checked with Lisa to see if she was still planning to take the athletes to the track for their speed work. She said it was not raining out near Norristown and called the athletes' house to be sure they were still on schedule to do the workout. Everyone discussed it and deferred to Catherine who said yes they still wanted to go. I wasn't sure if it would be worth the drive considering it was still raining very steadily but after checking again with Lisa at 7am I decided to make the trip since she said it still was not raining there. Besides, it is a good 50 minutes away so the weather can be very different, I was already up and ready to go AND it IS Catherine's birthday so I went.

When I arrived, the athletes were just finishing their warm up and it was quite chilly but at least it wasn't raining. The crew today was Catherine, Irene, Caroline and a new girl in the camp, Kellen as well as Linus who is not new to Lisa's camp but was not here last summer when we did our filming.

The Nike outfit Catherine was wearing today was awesome! Ok, I admit to being partial to pink but it was a very vibrant pink and I think you'll agree that it just looked gorgeous on her! I just had to take photos regardless of how bleak and dreary it was.
Part way through their workout the rains came; it started as a light rain and then got fairly steady but they kept on training. They did their speed work and cool downs and the rain seemed not to even bother them. At one point Catherine said to me: "It is a good day out." I looked at her obviously puzzled. She stared back with a straight face and said "yes, it is a good day out" "FOR SLEEPING"! Aha! So I was not the only one who thought it was a great day to just not get out of bed. It was nice to know that Catherine at least thought it even though she would not dare let herself submit to the temptation!

Everyone was wet after the track workout so Lisa drove them back to the house so they could change into dry clothes. She also picked up Jane and then we all went out for breakfast to celebrate Catherine's birthday.
starting lower left and going clockwise: Caroline, Catherine, Lisa, Linus, Kellen & Jane

I teased her about forgetting to bring a candle to put into her omelet but we all sang happy birthday even without the candle! When we were finished breakfast, Catherine asked me which way I was headed and when I asked her why she mentioned that she would like to go to the dollar store.....uh could I pass up the opportunity to escort her to Dollar Tree, especially on her birthday? Far be it from me to deprive her of that treat.....I mean, it's not like I don't LOVE the store myself.....(by the way, I don't believe there is such a thing as a dollar store; they are really twenty dollar stores because I can never get out of there spending less than that!) Jane wanted to go as well so we did a not-so-short trip there so they could stock up on whatever was needed and of course so I could make my deposit as well (although I will say I got out under $15 today so an added bonus!)

It was a nice diversion from the office for part of the day and great to see Catherine back in the U.S. as well as all the others, some of whom I hadn't seen since last year and some who I also saw back in Kenya!

Happy Birthday Catherine! Going strong at 37, you still don't look a day over 21! :-)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Race Schedule

It's hard to imagine that it has been a year now since I started filming Catherine in the United States. She returned to Norristown, PA on Monday to begin training for the summer races. It is here that she is able to get her regular chiropractic visits and massage therapy and get to her best form. She loves her weekly visits to the chiropractor. She once said: "What it does for my muscles; it just makes me feel great. Just straighten up what is crooked....when you train you keep on having those kind of funny, funny structure, funny style of running so when you get adjusted, you get aligned." She went on to comment :
"You get addicted; like a drug {laughs} Same as massage you know? If you get used to like to run when you get massage, it's so hard for you to do without one - you just try like uh, to train for like two weeks without having massage- you just keep on feeling like your body is like a lump; you don’t move:. (while she does get massage back in Kenya, she does not get chiropractic care there; she doesn't feel there is anyone she can trust her body with there when it comes to adjustments).
So I know I'm glad when she is here and can keep her body from feeling like a lump! :-)

Summer Races
Catherine was in NYC for the mini 10k on June 7th where she placed 4th. Fortunately, she said her toe has been feeling much better!

This past weekend she was in London where you saw she won the Asics British London 10k.

Her next race will be the Bogota Half Marathon on August 2nd in Columbia.

On August 16th she will run the NYC Half Marathon.

And then in September, she will run the Philadelphia Distance Run where she will be going for her 7th win!

during 2008 Philadelphia Distance Run and after finishing 2nd

Catherine has not decided yet on her next marathon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Catherine set to defend her NYC Half Marathon Title in great company!

It was announced today that Catherine will be defending her NYC Half Marathon title this year and running with a great field. Deena Kastor and Lornah Kiplagat will both be among the women competing. I interviewed Lornah last year during the NYC Marathon where she was a spectator and again in Kenya a few short months ago. Deena has agreed to participate in the film and I look forward to interviewing her as soon as I raise the budget :) This is the fourth year for the NYC Half Marathon race and Catherine won the first and third years and came in a very close second the second year! All three women are coming off of injuries earlier in the year; Catherine with her toe injury from the London Marathon, Lornah with a knee injury back in March and Deena suffered an inflamation of the same foot she broke during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The three would have competed in the NYRR New York Mini 10K back in June if it weren't for the injuries. Catherine was the only one able to run and she did well for still nursing a sore toe; she was 4th.

Catherine arrived yesterday from London and it will be good to see her! I haven't seen her since leaving Kenya May 31st. Summer is definitely in full swing back in Norristown, PA with the athletes house slowly filling up as everyone is training for the road races scheduled all over. This is the time of year that Lisa, as manager, is the busiest and she can usually be found driving to or from the airport, to or from the chiropractor will a van full of athletes, to or from the track or various other destinations with Catherine and the other athletes!

Catherine at the athletes training home in Norristown, PA

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Double Ndereba at the 2009 Asics British London 10K!

2009 Photo: Victah Sailer@Photo Run 631-741-1865 www.photorun.NET

Well, today was definitely a great day in London for the Ndereba's! Catherine won the ladies 10k race,
2009 Photo: Victah Sailer@Photo Run 631-741-1865 www.photorun.NET

running a good part of the time with friend and competitor Constantina Dita

(who came in third) but it was Catherine's younger brother, Cyrus, who made the victory a Double Ndereba!

2009 Photos: Victah Sailer@Photo Run 631-741-1865 www.photorun.NET

I last saw Cyrus at Nyayo Stadium when he was visiting his siblings during the Kenya Prisons Championships where another sister, Anastasia, was running for the Prisons Staff Training College, Catherine was running in the 5K and Jane Murage was running the Steeplechase. It was where we were fortunate to film a mini family reunion. The week before, when I interviewed Cyrus after the Sotokoto Safari Marathon we learned that he has been wanting to run outside of Kenya and even to come to the US and train with Catherine and other brother Samuel, but he hasn't been able to get a Visa to do so yet. Athletics Kenya requires athletes run a certain amount in Europe and develop wins there. Hopefully by winning this 10k race today it will help his quest of obtaining that visa! It would be awesome to see all four running Ndereba's here in the US training at the same time one day! Anastasia should graduate from Prison Training School by September and then she will have to fulfill a commitment of service for a certain time period before leaving for the US to train again but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later that Catherine, Samuel, Anastasia and Cyrus will all be in the US together!

Now that the race is finished, Catherine will head back to the US with Lisa and for now Cyrus will have to return home to Kenya.

2009 Photo: Victah Sailer@Photo Run 631-741-1865 www.photorun.NET

Results of the 2009 Asics British London 10k

1 Cyrus Ndereba-KEN 30:19
2 Ryan McKinlay-ENG 32:06
3 Luca Tassarotti-ITA 32:15


1 Catherine Ndereba-KEN 33:54
2 Kat Grimmett-ENG 34:19
3 Constantina Dita-ROM 34:30