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Run, Moses, run

Moses Kiptu Kuwi
Moses Kiptu Kuwi

Moses is a Programme Officer for Build Africa in Kenya. We talked to him about one of his big passions in life: running. 

“My passion for running began in primary school. The distance between home and school was 6.5km. I used to have lunch at home so would run there, eat and run back within an hour.

"My high school was even further from home: 24km. There’s no public transport so I had to run. The terrain near home is hilly but I was never alone: a group of my peers from the village would accompany me in the run.  The passion for running hasn’t stopped. My work takes up a lot of my time but I do commit myself to 36km on a Saturday.

"I have already run two marathons this year. I only finished 7 out of 6,000 in the Kass Marathon because I couldn’t train as hard as I’d have liked. In the other marathon I had to pull out at 23km because one of my shoes wore out. I hadn’t run on tarmac for a long time. But the crowd encouraged me (one man even offered me one of his own shoes).

"When you prepare properly for something you will undoubtedly achieve it. You must have commitment."

"You must be careful with the climate and your diet. The body is fragile. I have a lot of milk, ugali and vegetables in my diet. I don’t take a lot of meat. I take fruits, mainly from the small orchard that I own (passion fruit and oranges and, in the past, apples). I like indigenous vegetables, have salt only in moderation (and no cooked salt), and avoid a lot of sugar.

"Parental support is essential. I used to wake up early in the morning and my parents didn’t disturb me. Instead they encouraged me and I got inspiration from them. Parents must inspire children: they must encourage them in their talents at school. If children aren’t academic they should be able to follow any other talents that they have, including sport, music and art. 

"A lack of resources is an issue. We don’t have great sports facilities and many people can’t afford running shoes. 

"Diet is a priority. If athletes have too much weight they become afraid. If they are too light their health may suffer. It is a balance. An athlete may intentionally stop running to put on weight, but this must not exceed 5kg of their running weight.

"Sometimes I have to leave very early in the morning so that I can practise in the cold."

"My area is rich in athletes. A famous Kenyan runner would come to our school in the morning and take us for a training session. 

"Most of the successful Kenyan runners come from my community. Mo Farah trained in my local community before the 2012 Olympics.  We are inspired because we do well. It is a passion in my community. You are inspired by the achievements of other members of the community. 

"It is all about having a supportive community attitude and a conducive local environment.