A day in the life of: a Kenyan athlete

Edwin prepares to pace the elite men's group at the VLM 2013, alongside a familiar face.
Edwin prepares to pace the elite men’s group at the VLM 2013, alongside a familiar face.

Edwin Kipyego is one of Run-Fast’s best athletes, with personal best times of 27.49 for 10k and 60.05 for the half marathon. In 2012 Edwin ran the British 10k and broke the course record, previously held by athletics legend Haile Gebrselassie. In 2013, Edwin will make his debut at marathon distance.

I live on the Run-Fast camp in Iten, Kenya. Iten is at 2,400m altitude and in my opinion the best place to train in the world.

On the Run-Fast camp at any one time we have between eight and ten athletes living here. I’m normally the first person to get up in the morning just before 6 a.m. I make sure all the athletes wake up and we start our morning training at about 6.20 a.m. If we are not going to the track, doing our weekly long run or doing a fartlek we will go out for a run of between forty minutes and one hour and twenty minutes.

There are so many different paths and trails around Iten that we never get bored of running and seeing all the other runners out training reminds us we have lots of competition and must continue to train hard if we want to keep racing abroad.

After the morning run we stretch before taking a shower, then we sit down for breakfast which consists of chai (sweet Kenyan tea) and bread. Next it is time to relax, normally with a nap or sometimes we will sit around and chat or play cards. We have a simple lunch of rice and beans at around 1 p.m. with more resting before our early evening training at 4 p.m. This will be an easy recovery run of between forty minutes and one hour.

More resting follows the evening training while the Run-Fast cook prepares our evening meal. We nearly always have ugali for dinner as this gives us the energy we need to train hard the next day. My favourite meal is ugali with cabbage stew. Sometimes we have this with beef, but if there is no meat available we have milk. On special occasions we have a traditional fermented milk drink called Mursik which is delicious!

After dinner we go to bed early so we are well rested and ready to train hard again the following morning.

Edwin with friend and Run-Fast athlete manager Tom 'Kiprop' Payn.
Edwin with friend and Run-Fast athlete manager Tom ‘Kiprop’ Payn.

Edwin leading the pack in the 2013 CPC Loop the Hague Half Marathon
Edwin leading the pack in the 2013 CPC Loop the Hague Half Marathon.