Visit the Official WinCatherine Website

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays

I spoke to Catherine on Christmas Eve and she was in great spirits being home for Christmas! Anthony was on "stand by" for work so they were unable to spend the holiday with his parents so they took Jane and Kevin (Catherine's nephew) to Anthony's parents to spend the day and Catherine stayed home to be with Anthony. They plan on going to church on Christmas morning and then having a bbq with friends after. It definitely is a joyous time of year in the Ndereba household :)

Catherine told me all about her recent trip to Japan which was for a different reason than her usual trips there. She filmed an episode of Fuji TV's Junk Sports and said it was a lot of fun! She "competed" alone against several teams and they did some running and from what it sounds like, it was a type of obstacle course. I would love to see it and will check to see if Fuji TV broadcasts online! If anyone catches the program, please let me know how it was!

Finally, as the year ends, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. I am grateful for the support we have had to date for the film "WinCatherine" and am optimistic that the New Year will bring much needed sponsors and support. We really need to get the film edited and the remaining footage shot so it can be complete in time for the 2012 Olympic season. Please ask your friends, family and colleagues to visit the website and contribute what they can.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Update on Catherine Ndereba and WinCatherine

Wow I hadn't realized how time has flown since my last post! With Catherine back in Kenya and so much work to do, the time just got away from me!

To get up to date, the IndieGoGo campaign ended and even though we fell short of our $10,000 goal, we have not given up! There are too many people looking forward to this film and to Catherine's story. Especially now that many American celebrities have taken up the cause against bullying, I feel it is important to get this story out to the world. Catherine is an excellent example of a child who did not let the bullies get her down, who did not let bullying define her or prevent her from achieving her goals! She also does not harbor resentment towards those who bullied her. 

I recall when we were filming in Kenya at her secondary school, Ngorano Secondary, one of the teachers had sent word that Catherine would be there and several of her former classmates were there when we arrived to film. I learned that one of the men there was one of the biggest bullies to her when she attended there! She treated him with the same respect as she did the others. She did not need to point out to him what his past actions were. Standing there as the success she is I'm sure was reminder enough to this man that his actions in the past were inappropriate. I can only hope that he has raised his children to be more respectful than he was.

Whether it is called teasing, bullying, or just plain being mean, how children treat each other is a major topic of discussion in the world today and for good reason. Children need to embrace their individuality and need to be more tolerant of others. This is one of the main messages we want to impart in the film.

Moving on to news of Catherine, she returned to Kenya at the end of October in time to be present for Jane's graduation ceremonies from Primary school to Secondary school! This was extremely important to both Catherine and her daughter because probably the biggest sacrifice Catherine has had to make for her career is the time she has missed watching Jane grow up. It was a very special occasion for the family to be together for this important event!  Catherine has been spending time at home with her family and enjoying having everyone together!

When Catherine left here, she had just finished nursing an injury to her foot that she sustained at a race she ran in Virginia. When I spoke with her she told me she has been increasing her mileage by 5 miles each week and was feeling great!  She should be up to about 30 or 35 miles a week by now.

As for news on the film, we are still in need of funds to get the footage edited. We are looking for individual donors as well as corporate sponsors. We know there are organizations out there that would love to be associated with this film and promote the central themes of womens empowerment, Title IX issues and the importance of girls in sports and education, anti-bullying, health and fitness and faith. If you or anyone you know may be interested in supporting the film with a sponsorship, please get in touch with me at 

Finally, I'd like to welcome any readers from Women Talk Sports; you'll notice their badge on this blog page. Please visit the site and check out the many great articles, blogs and contributors there!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Only 7 More Days to Help Fund WinCatherine on IndieGoGo

There are only 7 days left on our IndieGoGo campaign to help get us to the next stage of production and log all of our footage and get it transcribed and translated where necessary. All contributions are tax deductible and there are incentives as well! 

With celebrities now speaking out against bullying and bringing public awareness to the issue, now more than ever we need to tell this story to show our children that you do not have to be defined by what others say or think! Catherine overcame many obstacles and one of the biggest was the teasing she endured as a child.

Please log on to IndieGoGo and contribute what you can! We have had 2,172 views; that means if each visitor donated even $10, we would have raised $21,172! If each visitor had donated even $5, we would have raised $10,860 and met our goal! So even if you think a little doesn't help, it really does! Let's see if we can reach our goal in the next 7 days!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Post Fundraiser

So it has been two weeks since the “Prefontaine Film & Fundraiser” to benefit the making of the documentary film WinCatherine: The Story of Wincatherine Nyambura Ndereba and I am just now getting to posting about it. I apologize for the delay. Life has been very hectic and time was marching by but I wanted to share my thoughts.

I am very grateful to Johnny King-Marino for suggesting this event and for promoting it to his patients, co-workers, running clubs and friends, as well as for bringing on sponsors to cover the cost of the theater! It was a very generous gesture on his part and I am deeply grateful.

The night started off well when I actually got a metered parking space right outside of the theater.  It doesn’t sound that important, but I had a lot of items to get out of the car and into the theater.  The staff at The County Theater was great; they were so nice and very accommodating. They gave us a table to display concessions and allowed us to sell whatever we wanted so the proceeds could go to the film. They even donated the popcorn for us to sell!

Audience patiently awaits the event to begin
 I called the event for 6:30 expecting it would take time for people to get settled before starting with the trailer at 6:45. I didn’t count on people arriving early and the matinee before us to run a little beyond 6:30 but everyone was patient!

Catherine arrived with her manager, Lisa (who is also my sister), as well as Simon Ndirangu, (one of her training mates while in Norristown) my parents and Dr. Johnny. They had all gone out for Philadelphia cheesesteaks before! 
Catherine & manager Lisa Buster greet attendees
Catherine greets attendees

The audience awaits the start

Catherine in the audience

By 7pm it was time to start with the showing of the WinCatherine trailer. 
The WinCatherine trailer plays before an almost full house
When it ended Prefontaine began. I was nervous but knew that no matter what, people would leave the theater inspired! The time flew and before I knew it the films were over. I had wanted Catherine to speak to everyone but she did not want to. I am not good at speaking in front of audiences but wanted to thank everyone for coming out and supporting us. I was able to speak better than I expected and I sincerely believe that was because I am passionate about WinCatherine! I feel it is so important for all of us to have role models who have been able to overcome teasing and obstacles to realize their dreams. Especially in light of recent news and so much awareness now about bullying and teasing, Catherine’s ability to persevere in the face of adversity is truly inspiring.
Speaking to the audience after

When the event ended, Catherine stayed behind to talk to people and take photographs with them.
Catherine poses with fans George Bruno & Karla Kay Shantz

 Many people thanked us for a nice evening and I was relieved that people were not only entertained, but also inspired. My hope is that the people who attended will pass on the WinCatherine website, blog and IndieGoGo websites and generate more donations. We really need to raise more money and finally get into editing; we are getting so close to the end of 2010 and that means closer to the 2012 Olympics and I know we need to capitalize on the Olympic momentum that will start building in 2011! 

Simon Ndirangu (L) & Catherine Ndereba (R)

There are ONLY 30 DAYS LEFT on our IndieGoGo campaign.  Please don’t forget to visit WinCatherine on IndieGoGo to make your donation and you can help make WinCatherine a reality!


Catherine Ndereba & my mom, Arlene Buster
Me and Catherine Ndereba

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Tonight is our fundraising event in Doylestown, Pennsylvania where you can meet Catherine Ndereba in person! Johnny King-Marino & Advanced Sports Chiropractic, in conjunction with HighRoad Cycles MultiSport Club and the Endurance Sports Expo (ESE) will present the feature film Prefontaine along with a special big screen showing of the fundraising trailer for the documentary film on Catherine Ndereba-- WinCatherine: The Story of Wincatherine Nyambura Ndereba. 
It will be an inspiring night of screenings! Prefontaine is the story of Steve Prefontaine, a young long-distance runner from Oregon who pursued the dream of Olympic Gold. Although his story turns out tragically, he still inspires people to reach for their dreams. WinCatherine is a story that will inspire athletes and non-athletes alike. Even this fundraising trailer will inspire you!

I know a lot of you won't be able to make this event because you're not nearby but there are still ways you can help! Please visit our IndieGoGo campaign here or the Official WinCatherine Website here and click on "Donate". 

For those of you lucky enough to be nearby, we hope to see you at The County Theater, 20 E. State St., Doylestown, PA TONIGHT!

 Details of the event can be found here: WinCatherine Fundraiser

Wednesday, September 15, 2010



If you are in the Philadelphia area, or within a reasonable driving distance, DON'T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY to MEET CATHERINE NDEREBA 
at a special event!

Advanced Sports Chiropractic
Tickets are limited and only $10.00!


Sponsored By:

 If you are not able to attend, you can STILL HELP! Please visit our IndieGoGo campaign, check out our incentives and donate there! (contributions tax deductible according to the information on the IndieGoGo page

And, don't forget to visit us on Facebook and re-post any of these events to your page:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A New Race for Catherine

Well, for a minute it looked like Catherine was going to run the new ING Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon (formerly the ING Philadelphia Distance Run) this weekend but things have a way of changing. Now, Catherine will headline an inaugural race starting in Virginia, and heading across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge into Maryland, for an event not surprisingly called the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon! I can only imagine how exciting it must be for a race director to be able to bring such an accomplished runner to an inaugural event!  Check out the website for this race here.  You can also check out the press release.

Catherine will be on hand Friday at the packet pick up and also on Saturday she will be at the Westin National Harbor to sign autographs and talk about her career. (For those of you not near that area but closer to the Philadelphia or NJ area, please check out where you can meet Catherine on Wed. September 22nd! meet Catherine Ndereba.

Knowing Catherine, I'm sure she is all too happy to talk to a new group of people and share her story!

Look for Catherine to be wearing bib #1 and don't forget to check back after the weekend for photos!

As always, if you can help out with a donation to the documentary, please visit our IndieGoGo campaign and check out our incentives!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Post Crim and Some Blogs to Check Out

Catherine returned to Flint, MI this past weekend to run the 2010 Crim Festival of Races 10 mile. When asked how many time she had won the race, she said "like three or four times" but someone corrected her that it was actually SIX times! She really had no idea just how successful she has been at the Crim!  She won every year from 1996-2002 except for 1997 when she was pregnant and did not run.  She had not been back since 2002 because each year since, she has been training for either the World Championships or the Olympics, and it did not fit into her training schedule. She was genuinely glad to be back and had told me while we were cooking the weekend before, that she was looking forward to it. She placed 5th and was very happy with that. She has now run three races since coming off her injury and she's feeling healthy. Her speed work is also progressing so things are good!

As for the documentary, we are still looking for donations and sponsors for the film and hopefully this week we will see a new surge in people who want to see this film happen and are able to donate.  Several bloggers have written posts and I'd like to thank them here.

I want to send a huge shout out to Leah at her Chasing Atlanta blog. She wrote a post about WinCatherine and asked her readers to check out our websites and help out if they can! Chasing Atlanta is a great running blog so please check it out and look through her previous posts as well. 

I also want to send a big thank you to Ryan at I Run Flint for the blog post letting his readers know about the WinCatherine documentary and asking them for help as well! Please check out his blog that is also full of inspiring stories. Ryan also sent in photos taken of Catherine at the Crim race last weekend. 

Thanks also to everyone who has already helped out and supports this inspirational film. Keep passing on our IndieGoGo campaign to your friends and family and together we will make it happen!
photo courtesy of Ryan Litwiller

photo courtesy of Ryan Litwiller

photo courtesy of Ryan Litwiller

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cooking with Catherine

It's been over two years now since I first visited Kenya and since I had my first traditional Kikuyu dish at Catherine's house. Every time I have traditional Kenyan food, I love it and want to learn how to make it. The Kenyans cook with such fresh ingredients, the food is very healthy and tastes great. I have been asking Catherine for awhile now to give me a cooking lesson and we finally had the date scheduled!

I arrived at the athletes' house around 1:30 and Catherine was just finishing her lunch. The house was quiet as her brother, Samuel, was off at a race in Michigan, so it was just Catherine, Irene and Simon there.
Simon Ndirangu smiling as usual!
The lights were out to keep the house cooler, and everyone had already done their morning training so they were relaxing. After socializing for a bit,  it was time to shop for our ingredients. First, Catherine took out some dried peas and left them in a bowl to soak while we were out. 
soaking peas
Our first stop was to Dollar Tree, or what I refer to as "$20 Tree" because it is virtually impossible to leave there without spending at least that much! We both love that store but knew we didn't want to spend too much time so we grabbed a few items and went on our way. Our main stop was at this amazing produce store not too far from where the athletes' house is. This store is more like a large stand; it's just a plain building and there is nothing but produce; massive quantities of it at extremely cheap prices! You walk in, take a number, and when you're called someone waits on you, you tell him/her what you want, they get it, put it in a box and even take the box out to your car if needed. (Usually, when the athletes shop here they buy large quantities and the box is heavy)! The whole process is very streamlined and while it can be extremely busy, it usually moves along fairly quickly. We got our fresh vege supply and returned to the house.

At this point it was too early to start cooking so Catherine asked me for a favor; would I take her shopping? Of course I would; if that is the price of a cooking lesson, it is well worth it! I know she loves to shop and without a car in the U.S., it's hard to do large shops! Once Irene heard we were hitting the Walmart, she was on board for the trip! The three of us hit Walmart and had fun; Irene shopped for her daughter Debra and bought herself a matching outfit. Catherine shopped for her daughter, Jane, as well as for her niece and one of her friends asked her to pick up some educational DVD's. We went through a huge bin of DVD's and her and Irene both got a few titles suitable for youngsters. My recommendation was for them to find Sesame Street DVD's if they wanted educational ones, so we found them and they both purchased that as well. Overall, we had a good time shopping and laughing but it was getting late and it was time for the "lesson" to begin!

 Irene Limika models one of her new outfits
Once we got back to the house, we laid out all the ingredients and Catherine immediately started preparing. The cooking lesson for the day was Mukimo and stew. I've written about mukimo before, but if you haven't read the posts, it is a traditional Kikuyu dish made from potatoes. It is similar to mashed potatoes but there is no butter in it. It is simply made with the potatoes and a select few vegetables and is a healthy staple of the Kikuyu diet. Usually, you don't eat it by itself; it is served with some stew or soup in the same bowl and eaten together. Today we were making a stew with beef in it.

Catherine jumped right in and started grating carrots as I took notes, photos and video to be sure i didn't miss a thing! I also wanted to help and when I asked, Catherine was very cute; she didn't think I knew how to peel potatoes without a peeler! I laughed because she just assumed that we all use the peeler here, which of course we do but it doesn't mean I didn't now how to peel with just a knife! So, Irene and I went to work peeling all the potatoes and cutting them up. Catherine chopped, grated and prepared the remaining vegetables and Irene cubed the beef. I asked questions along the way and took good notes because I know that the next time I will be making the dishes and Catherine will be grading me! She has already told me that Irene will not be allowed in the kitchen with me when I do so she can't help. Catherine said she will be the proctor and make sure I do it all myself to earn the good grade!
fresh ingredients ready
mmmm, onions and garlic

everything prepared

Catherine starting to cook
 It was a lot of fun learning and I have a real appreciation of the work involved. It's not that it is hard work, but it is quite time consuming getting everything prepared, letting things simmer and cook, and then making the final preparations which includes "smashing" an entire pot of potatoes. The key to a good mukimo, Catherine taught me, is to not have any lumps! 
 those are not lumps, that is corn!  


The finished stew
  The table is ready....

After two hours everything was ready and we sat down for the meal. After a lengthy and heartfelt grace by Catherine, we all enjoyed the delicious dish! 
Mukimo, left and stew, right 
Catherine offers Anthony a plate, too bad he's in Kenya and can't join us!
This is how it is served
During dinner, I asked Catherine about how she was feeling with her running and she was very happy with her run at Falmouth where she placed fourth. She is looking forward to the Crim race in Michigan next week. We also discussed where she may run a fall marathon and she is undecided about that at this point in time. Her and Lisa (Buster, her manager) need to look at her schedule and figure it all out. Once they do, I will post where she will run.

I am looking forward to making the meal on my own the next time but we decided to hold off on scheduling until after the Crim race where, she heads with her brother next weekend. After that, we will schedule my test! I will post my "marks" after I receive them (if I pass)!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beach is finished; now on to Falmouth!

I just spoke to Catherine to see how she is doing. She ran the Beach to Beacon race last Saturday and it was her first race since her injury. She was running to gauge her fitness and see where she was at. The weather was perfect; not hot and not humid which is always a help! It was a very good field of runners on both the mens and womens sides and Catherine placed 6th among the women (33.33.7). She is very happy with how she ran and more importantly, with how she feels. She isn't having any pain and is looking forward to this weekend at Falmouth.

Beach to Beacon holds a lot of memories for Catherine. Not only has she won the race several times in the past, one of the special things about the race is that the elite athletes are housed with families during their stay. Catherine was reunited with the same family she has always stayed with, even though she hasn't been back in five years; that is very special for her. The race is also organized by Joan Benoit-Samuelson who has been an inspiration to Catherine. She still won't eat a lobster but told the crowd at the awards ceremony: "I love you...I really want you to know you really have a place in my heart." I wasn't there but I can picture Catherine exactly how she would say that to the crowd; with complete humility and a wide smile!

Irene Limika, who trains with Catherine, was 4th (33.06..1) and  Catherine's brother, Samuel, was 13th among the men.  Congrats to all the winners!

Next up, Falmouth! Hopefully the weather will cooperate this weekend as well and not be too hot and humid for the runners.

Friday, August 6, 2010

This weekend: The "Maine" Event

Good luck to all the athletes participating in the 2010 Beach to Beacon 10k race tomorrow! This is the race that legend Joan Benoit-Samuelson started 13 years ago. As she told The Portland Press Herald: "All I wanted was an event that showcased our state. And the people here. It's inspiring for me because I see what this race can do for people." (Read the full article here.)  The race has become a favorite to many over the years and has increased in popularity. 

Three of Lisa Buster's Norristown athletes left yesterday for Maine and will be running tomorrow. Irene Limika returns to defend her 2009 win. 
(Irene Limika  2009)
Samuel Ndereba, Catherine's brother, will also be running and Catherine returns after a six year absence. She has won the race five times! 
(Catherine Ndereba Beach to Beacon 2002)
This is also Catherine's first race since she had to withdraw from the Boston Marathon due to a tear of her piriformis muscle. She says she feels good; I'm sure a lot of people will be watching her to see how she looks. I do know that she will listen to her body and run accordingly, regardless of whether that will bring her a win or not.  An important lesson I have learned from Catherine is that it isn't always about winning!

Last year I teased Irene because she wouldn't try lobster, a Maine favorite (and a favorite of mine!),  while she was up there.
(No, Irene Limika (L), did not try the lobster even though it sat next to her!)
It has now become a running joke and I dared her, Catherine and Samuel to eat one and send me a photo. It's a shame I'm not up there filming with them this weekend; I would have loved to capture an encounter between Catherine and a lobster! But, I don't think that's going to happen anyway; they all seem very adamant about not even touching one much less eating one!  (Maybe if the meat were out of the shell......who knows!)

Anyway, I hope that the weather is cooperative, that everyone has a great race and that Catherine feels healthy and strong after! Both the men's and women's fields look to be very competitive. 

Please remember to visit our IndieGoGo campaign and send the link to all your friends; we need your help to finish the film WinCatherine! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back in the USA

It had been awhile since I'd seen Catherine; the last time was when we drove back from Boston after the marathon there. Her flight back to Kenya had been canceled due to the volcano ash and her trip home was postponed. So it was really nice to see her on Sunday and catch up on everything! I arrived at the Norristown training home where there are currently four Kenyan athletes living: Catherine, her brother, Samuel Ndereba,
(sura ya kazi!)
Irene Limika and Simon Ndirangu.
Fortunately, it was Sunday, the day no one trains  because it is the day for church and relaxation. The weather the past few days had been ridiculously hot & humid; above 95F, and they all said how difficult the heat was. So not a good day to train but, it was a perfect day to go produce shopping! Thankfully, as soon as we were ready to leave, the skies opened up and a huge storm passed through, cooling off the sticky temperature by over 20 degrees; it felt SO nice!
When we got back from the produce store, Catherine started cutting up vegetables. She loves to cook and I love watching and learning. I am hoping to be able to cook like the Kenyans soon! They use all fresh ingredients and the stews are SO good! So I watch and take mental notes. I reminded Catherine about her promise to teach me how to make Mukimo and she said she definitely will soon. I can't wait! In the meantime, I took good notes on how to make Chapati. It is really a team effort both on the track and off with this group of runners managed by Lisa Buster. In the house, they all take turns preparing meals and sometimes even prepare them together. I find it interesting especially since in Kenya it is definitely NOT that way. There, the women do the cooking and you generally will not see the men in the kitchen! I mentioned that to Samuel and Simon and they both agreed that is true but here in the U.S. they all work together!

Here you can see how they all made Chapati as a team!

First, Samuel mixes the dough; today he combined some Chapati (whole wheat) flour with some white flour, he mixed in some shredded carrots and combined with enough water to make the dough. It almost looks like pizza dough!
Simon Ndirangu (L) & Samuel Ndereba (R)
Then he put some oil on the table so the dough wouldn't stick and rolled the dough out very thin. The next step was to score the dough vertically with a knife so the dough now stood in strips.

Next was to roll up the strips into pinwheels (looking almost like a Cinnabon!) He then dipped the pinwheels in flour, dusting each one lightly.

 Then it was time to roll out each "bun" into a perfectly formed circle that looked almost like a large pancake!

It was at this point that Irene stepped in; she would take each "pancake" and cook it in a very hot, cast-iron pan, carefully turning it often so it doesn't burn (trust me, you have to be careful! Last year in Kenya Catherine's mother taught me how to make Chapati and let me make a few. Catherine was able to pick out every one I made because they were a little burned!)

Once Irene had cooked each Chapati, it was time for Simon to step in. He took each one, put it in the cast-iron pan and basted it lightly with oil making sure not to burn them. And that was it! Chapati was ready!

In the meantime, Catherine was working on the stew. All the fresh veges she had cut up were simmering nicely to form it. Finally it was time for dinner and well worth the wait as always! 

Catherine was in great spirits and said she's feeling great and looking forward to some upcoming races; the Beach to Beacon in Maine August 7th and the Cigna Falmouth Road Race August 15th. 

It was a fun, relaxing afternoon/evening with everyone and I'm looking forward to more days like it. Welcome back Catherine!

Here we had some fun taking our own photos!  There's no hiding that Catherine & Samuel are brother and sister!

Me & Catherine
  Me & Samuel
Me & Irene