Category Archives: Olympics

Ineos 1:59

Today Kenya stood still, and the world watched as Eliud Kipchoge ran a specially staged marathon in Vienna Austria completing it in under two hours. The event dubbed “Ineos 1:59” was an unprecedented partnership event, backed by British chemical company Ineos and its billionaire Chairman,  Jim Ratcliffe.

Kipchoge ran the 42 kilometre-length course on a time of 1 hour 59 minutes and 40 seconds, dipping under the two-hour mark for the first time in marathon history. This was his second attempt at breaking the milestone mark. He had tried this in May 2017 and come 25 seconds short in another special run at the historic Monza Formula One track in Italy. That was in a project supported by Nike, dubbed “Breaking2.”

Eliud Kipchoge is currently the world record holder for the marathon with a time of 2:01:39 that he set at the 2018 Berlin marathon. He is also the reigning Olympic champion (2016 Rio games), and at 34 years old, has won 12 of 13 competitive marathons he has entered since 2013 including the London marathon four times, and the Berlin marathon three times.

Also used in support of the Ineos 1:59 challenge was an electric-powered Audi SUV, driven at a constant pace throughout the race, that projected laser beams to guide Kipchoge and his rotating team of forty-one elite pacesetters from across the world – Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, USA, Uganda, Ethiopia, and several of his Kenyan compatriots

Local brands that have supported Kipchoge include Safaricom and Isuzu East Africa who signed him up as a brand ambassador in September 2017.  And last week, Safaricom changed its M-Pesa brand to read “Eliud 1:59” for seven days and rolled out a free 1.59 gigabyte data bundle to enable Kenyans to watch Kipchoge’s run on their phones or their home devices via YouTube.  It is reported that over 3 million subscribers signed up for the special data bundle. 

Loose Ends

Nairobi Olympics
The 2012 Olympics will be held in London, and Kenya will be bidding for the 2016 Olympics according to Sports Minister Ochillo Ayacko

How does Nairobi rank alongside yesterday’s finalists?

Population: not sure (1991 said 1.5 million, but NGO’s claim that Kibera alone has 1 million residents)
Previous Olympics: None, but have hosted All-Africa games, various regional soccer matches, some cricket World Cup games and sports rallies
Pros: Treat VIP’s well, we are able to imagine and build anything huge.
Cons: Treat athletes badly, poor current infrastructure & Olympic facilities,
Slogan: Coming Soon
Status: Realistically, we should settle for hosting the announcement ceremony of the real venue of the 2016 Olympics (yesterday it was done in Singapore)
VIPs who will represent us: Kipchoge Keino, Catherine Ndereba, and half the cabinet

Tax Refund
I completed my tax return three days before the June 30th deadline, and according to my accountant, I am owed about 6,000 shillings. I filled out my bank details on the form, and will see how long it takes KRA to send me my refund.

Book Paradise
I finally joined the book library that I wrote about earlier. So far, it’s the real deal and I am on my 2nd bestseller in this week after starting with Nelson DeMille’s Night Fall. I feel like some kind of addict who has been given a free supply for one year as there are so many books in the store. At this rate, I will have read over 50 bestsellers by next June, all for the price of one (1,000 shillings).

Top Gun

You can usually tell when President Kibaki returns from an international trip as his official jet will buzz over the city on its way to its Eastleigh base, and after dropping him off at JKIA.

Rediscovering KTN
Earlier I got pissed off when KTN stopped showing the Sopranos at the end of season three. They have now resumed and repeated the last episode they showed where Jackie Jr. gets bumped off. Also, Season 2 of “24” ended, and they now have “Alias” on Wednesday nights where unfortunately it’s at the same time as Nation’s “Wingu La Moto.” They have also replaced the “X-Files” (season 6 or 7) with “Millennium.”

Olympic Colours

This somewhat racist article, in Salon magazine, points out that Kenya throws millions of shillings at a sport we are ‘terrible at’[soccer]and that we should instead concentrate on sports where we clearly excel [athletics] – We’re so good at athletics, that we are even exporting athletes for dollars

No amount of political correctness can obscure the reality that a large part of Kenyans’ mediocre record in soccer and sprinting comes down to genetics: They just don’t have the body or physiology for those sports. They are ectomorphs, short and slender, with huge natural lung capacity and a preponderance of slow twitch muscles, the energy system for endurance sports. It’s a perfect biomechanical package for distance running, but a disaster for sports that require anaerobic bursts of speed — like sprinting and soccer.

Also, despite the relative success of the Harambee Stars, Kenya has effectively outsourced its soccer craze to the Premiership and other European leagues since satellite TV was established in Kenya. If Harambee Stars are playing the Africa Cup final against Tunisia, simultaneously with an Arsenal-Chelsea game, TV’s will be equally split between both games. Meanwhile, Dennis Oliech plays his professional soccer in Doha, Qatar earning 640,000 shillings a month (and 60,000 of allowances per week)