Kass Marathon 2019 WriteUp
It is almost daybreak in a North Rift town. Beside the road stands a tall, medium build man, clad in full sports gear. Dozens of similar-looking chaps join him and a swarm is slowly formed on the dusty rural road. A close inspection of the group brings one thing to mind. "Runners!!"
In the Rift, running is a way of life, running is a religion of sorts, running is a commitment.. a commitment that inspired Kass Media Group to breathe life into the creation of Kass Marathon.
Kass Marathon has given thousands of active and talented athletes a chance to run and explore the world. Having been personally in these training camps and the daunting training, I feel intimidated by the upcoming athletes whose prowess through unknown can easily qualify them for major events and some maybe faster than the current crop of world champs or even Olympic level athletes.
Kass Marathon pride in giving upcoming athletes a platform to showcase their talents, a talent so raw and abundant in this part of the athletic world and Kass Media Group has religiously done that for the past 12 years.
The year is 2007, Kass Media Group being the media of choice in Rift Valley the athletic nation, started a journey towards giving the athletes who train hard and don’t get races abroad a rare chance to train at home and experience the feeling of running in an international race at home. Abraham Keter and Magdalene Chemjor nonchalantly opened a new page in the story of Kass Marathon by being the first-ever winner of the Marathon.
Keter clocked 2.10.45 and Magdalene didn’t know that winning in Kapsabet - Eldoret race was to set the road ahead for her where she went and her best in Boston the following year.
The hard work and commitment the upcoming athletes were putting in the dusty roads of Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Bomet, Elgeiyo Marakwet, and other places were now getting rewarded, running at home with the best for the best of the athlete.
Upcoming athletes have encouraging stories from Kass Marathon, Weldon Kirui whose proceeds from Kass marathon enabled him to start Njerian athletics Camp in Bomet County didn’t have a place to sleep the night before the race in 2012 but now he is providing not only for upcoming athletes but also has ensured they have a roof over their heads.
Philip Kangogo, a lanky and jovial man from EMC went to Kapsabet to run because he felt he had trained well and was in form, Kangogo left the finish line a changed man, he had his dummy cheque of Kshs. 1.5 M and a manager, The man with an infectious smile have made a name in big city marathons including Barcelona.
Diminutive athlete Valery Jemeli Ayabei knew Kass Marathon was a hard course race but convinced herself that a win here, will propel her athletic career, she sealed her dream and won the race which fortunately seemed to have booked her tickets abroad, she went ahead to win Barcelona and Valencia Marathon, third in Berlin and became the first woman to win Beijing Marathon.
These are just a few stories written by athletes in the dusty paths of their rigorous training, printed while in the course of Kass Marathon and its echoes chiming in Kenyan homes bringing with it a well-deserved life-changing experience courtesy of Kass Media Group.
An athlete is now stomping the red soil of Kamariny, another gasping for breath in Kapsabet or even using the path used by World HM Record Holder Geoffrey Kamworor and his training partner Eliud Kipchoge in Uasin Gishu…..
Eager to follow into the footsteps of the immeasurable number of world-class athletes who started in Kass Marathon and are now budding athletes.