In the late 80s and then in the 90s when it came to running – particularly distance running – Kenyans pretty much dominated every race and event.
As this article in The Atlantic says, “Since 1988, for example, 20 of the 25 first-place men in the Boston Marathon have been Kenyan. Kenyan women appear to have had a later start, winning none of marathons before 2000 (possibly due to discriminatory laws and a tradition of forcing girls into marriages, both of which were partially rolled back by 1990s reforms) and 9 of 13 since then. Of the top 25 male record holders for the 3000-meter steeplechase, 18 are Kenyan. Seven of the last 8 London marathons were won by Kenyans”
With victory after victory, the question on everyone’s minds was what makes Kenyans such great runners, and in particular what makes the people of the Kalenjin ethnicity such great runners such as Pamela Jelimo and Paul Tergat, that experts estimate they could outrun 90 percent of the world’s population. Many have sought to answer the question, but a documentary by former Irish athlete and 5,000m world champion Eamonn Coghlan delves into the lives of these runners. Born to Run is an up-close look at what makes Kenyan athletes world class. Is is their genes? Is it their lifestyle and the hardships they have to suffer or is it just the greatest coincidence in the world? Take a look at decide.
Coghlan’s documentary attempts to unravel the mystery by talking to trainers, coaches, and current and former athletes who have done Kenya proud. Find any other awesome running documentaries? Let us know and we’ll feature them here.