Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Glimpse of African Running

I had quite a driveway moment coming home from work this afternoon.  I was listening to Marketplace on Public Radio when I heard the story of Kenya's Salina Kosgei, the winning woman at this year's Boston Marathon.  If you have five minutes, click on the link and listen.
What got me was a particular combination of factors.  My wife and I worked in Africa from 1976-1981.  We grew to love the continent, with all of it's massive problems and incredible potential.  I first started running in Africa and it was there I ran my first two marathons.  I love the fact that Africans are the world's elite distance is one point of genuine dominance for a continent that lags behind in so many, many ways.
More than that, though, this reporter captured the humility of an African champion.  The difficulty of her life, her love of running, the support of others, the mindset of never being far from poverty while wanting to give back in a very real way. 
It touched me.  Perhaps it will be meaningful for you as well.


Darrell said...

Without having been to Africa or some place similar most of us have no appreciation of the vast gulf in technology, etc, that exists. Yet they are happy loving people none the less, doing the best they can in the conditions that they find themselves in.

The odds of being a sucessful Kenyan runner are far worse than that of being a successful NFL, NBA or MLB player. Congrats to Salina for pursuing her dreams and talents.

Bob A said...

It's always a thrill to watch the Kenyans run. One of the best races I've ever seen was John Ngugi winning the men's 5000 meter race in the 1988 Olympics. And the Kenyans running the steeplechase -- it's a foregone conclusion. We lived there for 18 1/2 years and my wife and I are moving back later this year.

Chad said...

I would love to visit Africa, to me it is full of mystery and character.