My journey to tell the story of how World Champion Kenyan marathon runner Catherine Ndereba has inspired many through her running and how her faith has guided her. This story will explore the many ways she stands as a role model for Kenyan women and girls and how she inspires others to pursue their education and dreams and not be bound by the traditional role women have been bound to in Kenya.
Check back often as I'm sure the scope of this will change and evolve through time.
Catherine Ndereba will once again return to Boston to run the Boston Marathon on April 19, 2010. According to the John Hancock press release this morning “”Catherine the Great” needs no reintroduction to Boston as she has written the history books here as the only woman to ever win four times.”
2000 Photo courtesy BAA
It has been 5 years since her fourth title in Boston and I asked her if she is looking forward to running there again. She said it is a very tough course but she enjoys running there. She hopes it won’t be too cold! (In my opinion, she seems to do quite well regardless of how hot or cold it is! Her world record was set in Chicago when the starting temperature at race time was less than 40 degrees and her win in Osaka it was over 90 degrees!)
I’m exited that she’ll be running Boston because I went to Boston U and have only been back once since then so it will be nice to visit with friends while following Catherine. :)
The additional elite women’s field that was announced this morning includes last year’s winner Salina Kosgei (KEN), 2008 winner Dire Tune (ETH) and former winner Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS). On the men’s side, Deriba Merga (ETH) and Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot will both be back. Merga stopped Cheruiyot’s three-in-a-row streak when he won last year.
2001 Photo courtesy BAA
Catherine still hasn't decided which warm up half marathon she will run so I also don't know yet when she will return to her training home away from home in Norristown, PA. Right now, she is better off in the warm climate of Kenya during their summer than she would be here outside Philadelphia where we are experiencing the second snowstorm in a week to produce over 20" of snow! Stay warm, Catherine!
The Kenya Prisons Cross Country cometition was held over the weekend in Ruiru which is just outside of Nairobi. It was held at the Prisons Staff Training College which is where all employees of the Prisons go to school and learn their jobs. (It also happens to be where Catherine met her husband, Anthony, and where her sister was when we filmed there last year. But that's getting off track!) Before the race I read several articles online that mentioned that Catherine was competing for this or that, one of those being the senior title. It was refreshing however to read today that at least one article got it right as to Catherine's intentions in the race. I know they got it right because I spoke to her last night after the race as she was relaxing with Anthony watching some news before going to sleep. The truth is, Catherine (as with many other elite athletes) does not run every race to win. When she is training for a big marathon, each race leading up to that has a purpose in her training plan. When I spoke with her she was very content with the run, especially given the fact that she has been fighting a nasty cold. (When we filmed her training run in Kenya, she was also battling a cold). I know how hard it is to breathe with a cold without having to run, so I certainly can't imagine how it feels to run any distance with one! But this is something that athletes deal with all the time. Regardless of the cold or that she still came in 12th overall, Catherine was at the race as much to support her Prisons team as to get in a good training run!