Money is the issue today. But first, congratulations go out to Flagstaff-based Nick Arciniaga for his first national championship, an exciting 2:13:12 win over Mammoth Track Club’s Josphat Boit at the USA Marathon Championships in Minnesota today. Nick’s narrow two-second victory over Kenyan-born Boit was worth $25,000. Boit took home $15,000 for second, Shadrack Biwott came in third at 2:13:25 ($10,000) and Sergio Reyes was fourth in 2:13:34 ($7000).
I lead with this in part because of Ryan Hall’s final blog from his month-long training session in Iten, Kenya where he went to prepare for the November 3rd ING New York City Marathon. In his NYRR post Ryan Hall wrote:
“My last thought about Kenya and what makes the runners here so special is their incredible self-belief. I have never met a group of runners so confident in their abilities, even if they are unproven. For example, you cannot tell the difference between a 2:04 marathon runner and a 2:20 marathon runner in Kenya; they exude the same confidence and self-belief. It seems that everyone here believes they are just one day, or one race, away from hitting it big, and with confidence like that, perhaps they are. They certainly aren’t afraid to take a risk and put it all out on the line, whether in a race or in training. Nothing great ever happens without taking a risk.” (Bold and underline added)
Ryan Hall has it exactly right. But what goes unspoken is how the imbalance in the financial rewards of running allow every Kenyan kid to take any and all risks to achieve his or her dreams, while those same rewards in the U.S. economy hampers every American without a major shoe company contract from doing the same. Continue reading