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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Back in the USA

It is a cold, dreary, windy and very rainy day so I figured it would be a good day to catch Catherine at her home away from home in Norristown, PA. She arrived in the US last Friday after an exhausting week. Having just arrived home in Kenya on Tuesday the 23rd after the Lisbon Half Marathon, she had to turn around on Thursday and head to Philadelphia four days earlier than expected due to the impending British Airways strike. She arrived exhausted on Friday so I didn't want to call her then. I was away for the weekend and knew she would be busy catching up on chiropractor and massage appointments! So as I sat at my desk staring at the pouring rain, I decided to welcome her back. The first time I called, she was speaking to her friend Helen so I waited a few hours to call back. I gave them plenty of time because I know how the two of them can chat away especially without the time difference and being that Helen is in Maryland, they can now talk for free! When I called back she recognized the caller ID and picked up the phone with "Hello Stef". 

It was fun catching up and we talked about everything it seemed today! We talked about how quickly our kids are growing up; her daughter, Jane, will turn 13 in a few weeks while my oldest will graduate college just four days after that! Catherine recalled seeing photos of my children on Lisa's refrigerator when she first came to the United States in 1995. That was before she had Jane and my kids were only 4 & 7. We were just two mothers chatting about how time flies and how when we are young we only want to be older, and when we get older, we don't want to get any older! We talked about the rainy weather and how it prevented her from training today. She said she was bored and wished she could go to the mall. She invited me over for mokimo (you may recall seeing the photos from the last time she invited me back in November before Yokohama) and I was seriously thinking of blowing off the rest of the day and taking her to the mall, finding a WiFi spot and working from there. I was even willing to brave the weather and was excited because she promised to show me how to make the mokimo. Then it dawned on me. Sure, I could blow off work. I could go out in the rain. I could even find a WiFi spot and work remotely. But, my bubble burst when I remembered, oh yeah, I woke up with a sore throat and nasty cold and there was no way I was going to put myself anywhere near Catherine and risk her getting a cold! So, here I am back at work and she is still at home not wanting to swim her training today!

We talked about her race this weekend at the Crescent City Classic 10k in New Orleans and she said it had been 13 years since she has run there. She came to the US to train for the first time in 1995! It sounds like such a long time ago yet seems like just yesterday!

We talked about Boston and I was disappointed to learn that she will return home to Kenya after the marathon but she will be the maid of honor at her friend Jane Murage's wedding on April 24th so must get back. Jane even changed her wedding date in order to allow Catherine to be in the wedding because her original date conflicted with the Boston Marathon! You may recall Jane from the fundraising trailer; she also trains under Lisa Buster. She has been directly influenced and inspired by Catherine so it was very important to her that Catherine be at the wedding.

After 45 minutes I finally wished her a safe trip to New Orleans and she promised that when she gets back, and before she leaves for Boston, that we will go shopping and get the fresh ingredients needed for her to teach me how to make her famous mokimo!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WinCatherine on Rick's Running...

Rick's Running picked up the trailer today! His site is pretty cool; you can follow his journey to the 2010 London Marathon and his quest to run 2:45 here Rick's Running writes about WinCatherine

I was very excited this morning to find an email from Bridget Montgomery, the editor of letting me know that she became aware of  WinCatherine: The Story of WinCatherine Nyambura Ndereba and had posted an article about it on their site letting the running community know how they can support the film! You can read the awesome post here: post  focuses on women's elite distance running so I am thrilled that her post will reach such a targeted audience! 

I want to thank everyone who has been helping to promote the film! It's really amazing when a donation comes in from someone I don't personally know; no matter what the amount is, these are people who care enough to do what they can to help insure that the film will get finished and I truly appreciate it! If you haven't donated yet because you feel it won't be enough to help, please know that every bit helps!

I'm looking forward to talking to Catherine after Lisbon to see how her run was and how she's feeling for Boston!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Catherine Ndereba heads to Lisbon & WinCatherine getting noticed!

I can't believe how quickly the time is flying. It seems just yesterday that I was posting Catherine had started her spring marathon training! Now here we are already at the warm up race before the Boston Marathon! Catherine will run the Lisbon Half Marathon this weekend. She left today for the Sunday race so there should be plenty of time to adjust to the long flight and time change. Before I know it, she will be back here in Pennsylvania training! I surely hope we are finished with the snow for this year; I would hate to see Catherine turn around and run away from that!

Some good new about the film! We are starting to get recognized by blogs around the web and HOPEFULLY this will turn into donations so we can get back to editing! Check out these blog posts on WinCatherine.

RunBlogRun is a running blog by Larry Eder who is no stranger to writing about Athletics! (His other site, is a very popular and informative site as well) He posted a great piece asking the running community to help support the film; please check it out here: RunBlogRun article is a cool site whose mission is to: "Inspire you to envision, strive for and achieve success that once seemed impossible"; they are a "non-profit resource providing practical training and racing advice to athletes with realistic priorities: Families, friends and work come first; Then, Be Epic." Read the article on WinCatherine and check out the site here: post

Yet another example of how quickly time is flying: it has been almost a year since we left for London and Kenya to film with Catherine! Since returning in June, the goal has been to raise the budget so we can take all the wonderful footage we shot and start to edit it. I never in a million years expected it would be so difficult to raise money for such a great project! I try to stay positive though and know that eventually I will contact the right people and organizations to get the film funded and back on its way! Please, if you can donate even a little, every bit helps (and if you need a tax deduction for your donation, we have a way you can do that too!) Also, if  you or your company would like to be a part of this film, please contact us directly at We have sponsorships available at all levels! Click here to DONATE NOW!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Update on Catherine Ndereba's schedule and....

Well, it looks like Catherine will not return to the US until the very end of the month. I wonder if the c-c-c-cold weather and snow had anything to do with her decision on where to run a warm up half marathon this year! She will be running in Lisbon on March 21st, the same day as the NYC Half Marathon that she has been so successful at in past years. Hopefully the weather in Lisbon will be a bit warmer than NY!
Meanwhile, another Ndereba will be in NYC for the Half Marathon! Catherine's younger brother, Samuel, will be running this year! You may be able to pick Samuel out in a crowd if you know Catherine; there is a VERY strong family resemblance between the two!
Catherine Ndereba (left) and brother Samuel Ndereba (right) flank Ryan Hall 
 Philadelphia Distance Run 2009
(In fact, if you've ever gone through the photos here and on our website you'll notice a strong family resemblance among many of the Ndereba siblings!) Also running in the NYC Half Marathon this year are two other athletes from the Lisa Buster camp that train with Catherine in the US; Irene Limika and Moses Kigen Kipkosgei.

That is a popular weekend for races. It also happens to be the same weekend as a new event in Philadelphia this year: "World Water Day" 5k Run/Walk-A-Thon which benefits KSM whose mission is to provide clean drinking water to the Rift Valley area in Kenya.  You can check out that event here: . We wish them the best of luck with this inaugural event for such a great cause!

Now a word about something I don't post about here very often. We are really struggling for donations to get WinCatherine completed. Even though we've shot a lot of footage, we are still a long way from being finished. We still have a LOT of film to edit and do not have the funds to put our editor back to work! Now we are planning to film Catherine in Boston for the Boston Marathon and need to raise some money very quickly in order to pay for that shoot. PLEASE consider a donation, no matter how small! You can donate via our website for a tax deduction at or if the tax deduction is not important to you, please donate directly to the film (we keep the entire amount of direct donations)
c/o Sparklinblue Productions
533 Dogwood Drive
Maple Glen, PA  19002

If you can't help at this time, please suggest to others who may be able to!

Thank you for your help!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Checking in with Catherine 2/27/2010

I wanted to check in with Catherine to see how training was going for Boston and just to see how she was doing in general. I spoke to her Saturday evening after she had a good speed workout earlier in the day. I can always tell when she is relaxed and in good spirits because she laughs quite frequently! There are times when I call her and she has just finished a workout and has visitors arriving, or has to get ready for one of the many committments she has to attend and there is definitely a difference in her voice. Those are the times when she is in "work mode" and just like  most of us when we are working, we are more concentrated and "on". I love catching Catherine when she has time to relax and be at ease; it's like chatting with a girflriend at a slumber party! She admits to relishing the moments when she is able to take time for herself; she maintains an extremely busy schedule. 

 Catherine in her "garden" at her home outside Nairobi
She told me that it has been raining and I always joke with her that when it is raining it is great for her garden but not for training. I could visualize her face lighting up as she told me how well her crops are doing and especially the maize which she loves to use for cooking. She laughed when she told me she had "corn on the cob" for dinner that night! I asked her if when she is back in Norristown to train this year if she would give me some cooking lessons; I want to learn how to make some of the great Kenyan and Kikuyu dishes that use tons of fresh vegetables, beans and meats! She agreed and told me I would need to pay her; a big check; one with six figures and then she giggled for a bit. It was so cute! I told her I would pay her with hugs and she readily agreed! (if you scroll back to the November post before she left for Yokohama you will see photos of Catherine cooking her favorite dish, Mokimo, and all the fresh vegetables used! You'll also see photos of her relaxed and laughing which is exactly how I pictured her as she told me I would need to pay for her cooking lessons!)

After chatting for a bit more, I had to ask Catherine about the upcoming Boston Marathon. I know she has done several phone interviews already and I asked if she gets a lot of the same questions before each race: what does it mean to be back in , how is your training going, etc. Knowing that she has been aware of the enormous amount of snow we have been having this winter (her manager, Lisa, told me if Catherine sees any of the photos of the snow she may never come back!) and wanting to keep things light today, I simply asked her what her ideal weather for Boston would be. Here is her response:

"I don't want it cold, like freezing cold, and I don't want it extremely hot. Like back in 2004 it was hot and humid and I was full of cramps" She said "45 degrees (Farenheit) up to about 72 would be fine."  I told her I would place my order immediately!