I suppose there are millions of kids around the world who have the same dream: joining your favourite football team for an ordinary session on their training ground. Being just another guy in the team you support. Getting a pass from Ryan Giggs on Manchester Uniteds Carrington Training Ground or a “Good Morning” greetings from Steven Gerrard while he’s walking on LFC’s Melwood Drive pitch warming up for a mid-week session.
For a runner, that dream might be looping around the pitch in front of Saint Patrick´s High School in Iten. The legendary boys boarding school that brought the world so much distance running talent still creates this magical atmosphere. The pitch just beside the school’s front gate is a simple but magical place, where juniors warm up beside the greatest runners. The atmosphere is quiet, relaxed and focused.
With my current location beside the school, I am also able to use the pitch to warm up, cool down, and stretch. To run on that plain and simple 200m grass loop when the sun is rising is the perfect start to another training day. Being on the same spot, running the same loop while watching the sun set on the horizon marks the end of another perfect day in a perfect running environment.
Going home after experiencing this simple joy, and being able to look forward to a humble “good morning” greeting from Choge, Rudisha or Songok makes a grown man feel like a kid again.