Honolulu, HI. – In both 2016 & 2017, the Honolulu Marathon produced the fastest men’s marathon times in the United States.Perhaps some of that anomaly can be traced to the Chicago Marathon dropping pacesetters for three years. But in the last two years Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono (2:09:38 & 2:08:27) slashed almost three minutes off Jimmy Muindi’s 2004 Honolulu course record of 2:11:12, a record that itself stood for 18 years after Ibrahim Hussein brought Kenyan-style racing toOahu in the mid 1980s.
This year both Cherono and two-time women’s champion Brigid Kosgei have not returned to defend their titles, leaving the 2018 Honolulu Marathon wide open in both genders. (more…)
Lahaina, Maui – In 2003 Michael Lewis published Moneyball, his book telling how the Oakland Athletics baseball team implemented a more efficient and cost-effective way to evaluate players and strategize game situations based solely on data analysis. This approach led the Athletics to player acquisitions that other teams had overlooked or disregarded, but more importantly, led to success on the diamond.
When the book came out, many a baseball expert was dismissive. But at some point they couldn’t argue with the success the A’s were having using their new methodology.
In the ensuing years, people in many other fields took up the Moneyball example to reevaluate their businesses, positing that if the old ways of analyzing baseball were in error, couldn’t other suppositions be open to reexamination, as well? (more…)
Iten, Kenya – To understand the fullness of Kenyan athletics excellence come to Kamariny Stadium in the slow season after the provisional and national championships have been contested. Here on a sleepy Tuesday morning you will find 80-plus athletes in dust-covered flight hard along the edge of the soaring Kerio Valley preparing for futures both certain and not.
“You should see it in February,” says Serbian-based agent Zane Branson. “There will be several hundred runners on the track at the same time. You won’t find a 10 meter gap between any of the groups, and it’s hard just trying to cross the track.”
Today, men like Moses Masai, runner-up in the Kenyan 10,000 meter Olympic Trials held in Eugene, Oregon on June 4th and women like Joyce Chepkirui, runner-up in the women’s 10,000 Trials last Friday in Nairobi build momentum for London. Also we find 2012 Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop fine tuning her speed for this weekend’s BAA road 10K under the watchful eye of coach Gabriele Nicola.
But it isn’t just the stars who sharpen their edges in the bright light of day at Kamariny. Set in the small town of Iten, 40 kilometers outside Eldoret in the rigorous Central Highlands of Kenya, Kamariny Stadium welcomes the likes of 17 year-old (he claims – could be over 20) Felix Ngila of Machakos, Kenya , a member of the Kamba tribe, same as former three-time Boston Marathon champion Cosmas Ndeti. When I approached, Ngila had just finished his set of 400-meter repeats with hopes of yet discovering that magical next step into opportunity’s lap. (more…)