Kenyan Marathoners: The Longer Haul

Thu, October 26, 2006

Kenyan women hold 5 of 10 of the fastest recorded marathon times.  But as the NYC marathon approaches, it’s cool to hear these champs are really going the distance. Tegla Loroupe escaped genital mutilation with the help of her sister, and now runs an organization designed to help other girls avoid the knife and determine their own future. Lorna Kiplagat trains girls at high-altitudes to become competitive runners in a country where the educational opportunities for girls pale compared to those for boys. Ruth Waither coaxes street kids into a new reality – starting with some tea and bread.

Their ethic reminds me of Indian climber Bechendri Pal, who is featured in our India doc, Holy Cow. From rural India, she became the first woman from her country to summit Everest and has devoted the rest of her career to creating opportunities for other low-caste village women.

Divalicious behavior all around. This isn’t the first time Kenyan divas have hit our radar. Check out some of their compatriots, such as U.N. woman of the year Kenya’s Agnes Pareyio.

by Holly | Comments | posted in:

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Great story. I’ve always admired humanitarian athlete-activists, who disprove the sterotype of the dumb jock. By the way, how wierd is it that the top women finishers of the NYC marathon were from Latvia and Ukraine? Is Eastern Europe the new East Africa?

by Naomi on Mon, November 13, 2006 at 3:40 pm PDT

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