Kenya Trip 2014 – Week #4!

Posted: February 7, 2014 in Robert Brouillette


Jambo! Thanks for checking out another weekly blog of my 2014 trip to Iten, Kenya for 7 weeks of high altitude running. This is the 3rd year in a row of me coming here to train with a total of 5 months by the end of this adventure. I have met lots of new friends, connected with some old ones once again, and have experienced running with many strong Kenyans, international athletes, World Champions, Olympians, and world record holders. Hakuna matata 🙂

Week #4: January 27th – February 2nd, 2014

January 27
For the mid-morning workout, Johana and I went for a 13.2K run and I was moving fast by the end. I felt really good considering I raced 10K yesterday and I was feeling more flexible during my post-run stretch. Other than heading to Emosto hotel for lunch and watching a DVD on my laptop, that was my day.

January 28
By 9AM I was at the track for a workout with New Zealand Olympian, Zane Robertson, and the Kenya marathon group for 600M x12. I ran between 1:55-2:05 for a moderate track workout. Track has always been something I struggled with even in Canada so I’m happy to give it a shot here in Kenya. With that being said though, the Kenya hills will always be the most difficult part of my running career. After the workout we did a cool down back to town and then some drills to get our legs loose and stronger. I looked like a mess by the time I got home because I did the entire dirt track workout behind the group so I got all their dust in my face, plus it mixing with the sweat, plus my dusty legs and dirty black feet. In the evening I ran with Zane again but this time for a 35 minute, 4:50/K pace, easy run.

January 29
In the mid-morning, Johana took me to this steep rocky uneven mountain to do a hill workout. It was about 420M up and then we would jog down and run back up right away x5 sets. This is probably the most difficult run I have ever done and there was still more to the workout. We then jogged to the stadium to do 10 minutes of diagonals inside of the dirt track on the grass and finally cool down easy back home. In the evening I met up with Mo Farah for his 7-mile “easy” run with some of his Somali friends living here in Kenya. However, I decided it was safe for me to just run moderate so I let them run ahead of me with no problem. Mo says I’m a smart athlete, I know what I am doing, can see me running better, looking strong, and that I am welcome to run with him.

January 30
At 9:30AM I went to the Run Fast fartlek of 1:2 (1 minute easy, 2 minutes hard, repeat) for 12K. There were strong winds, it was a hilly route, and the altitude was fighting my lungs. In the afternoon I met with Mo Farah, Jake & Zane Robertson, and Kibe Rutto (a.k.a. “Goggles) and finished the 7-mile run in 48 minutes, just 30 seconds behind them.

January 31
Michael Del Monte and Mark, both from Canada, are now here for over a week to do some filming for their ‘Transcend’ movie so that’s always exciting. I bumped into the famous Wesley Korir who won the Boston Marathon a few years ago, is married to runner Tara of Canadian, and Wes is not the MP of Kenya. For my mid-morning workout alone, I went 7-miles and then did short hill sprints x8 feeling the good fast form. After I got cleaned up, I headed to Kerio View to watch some of Mo Farah’s interviews about mostly his London Marathon debut in April. I had lunch there with Bashir of spaghetti with chili peppers hidden inside which almost killed me because I am not a spicy food person. The afternoon was super hot so I took the rest of the day off from running and will take this time to rest for Sundays part 2 of Discovery Kenya, the men’s half-marathon road race. While I was walking down a trail with my banana that I was still eating, a little boy grabbed it from me, ate the rest of it in front of me, and ran off. At first it made me mad but then I realized that he must have needed it a lot more than I did. After supper, a bunch of us Canadians and Johana went to Iten Club for some delicious mango juice and cheesecake while talking about our running lives when we were back in Canada.

February 1
I went for a mid-morning 1 hour 7-miler with strides inside the workout near the end for 20 seconds x10 before the big race tomorrow. There was an opening ceremony for Lornah Kiplagat’s High Altitude Training Centre track that is now 1 of 3 real tracks in Kenya. However, I didn’t go but did enjoy the free lunch at Iten Club after the event was over. I hung out at Bashir’s house watching all sorts of Mo Farah video’s of his early running, to his Olympic medals, to him being the only person to beat the British game show ‘Cube’ by winning all the challenges and even making it look easy.   

February 2
I raced a men’s ½ marathon in Eldoret which is part 2 of Discovery Kenya because I ran the senior men 10K cross-country just a week ago. You can find both blogs on these races at my WordPress website. Johana took a few pictures of me from another persons phone so those photos are on their way. After the race I went back to that Indian restaurant for lunch with Johana, Michael, and Mark, Jake & Zane Roberson, one of their girlfriends Maggie, a Belgium running couple, and a guy from Ireland that does Kenyan cycling. Then once again milkshakes at a cafe but I had a mango shake this time as I love the fresh mango flavor here in Kenya whether it’s in a juice or straight fruit. Once I got home, I made myself a peanut butter, honey, and banana sandwich because I was still starving. The kids in the neighborhood love interacting with me so we played a game by me spinning them around in circles in the air by their hands and feet. Whenever I go to supper at the local hotel, it’s always dark when I arrive and black by the time I leave, but luckily I always have my heavy-duty flashlight with me. I always wondered why the Kenyans would come so close to me at night, it actually scared me a few times, but now I realize it’s because I’m the only person on the trail with some sort of light.

A few of the decorations and jewelry at Olympics Corner shop!

A few of the animal statue decorations and Kenyan jewelry at Olympics Corner shop!

A night view of the HATC!

A night view of the HATC!

A Kenyan with spirit paints his body for the opening of Lornah Kiplagat's new track!

Kenyan paints his body for the opening of Lornah Kiplagat’s new track!

– Robert Brouillette

  1. Michael says:

    Hey Rob its Michael from the college x country team, looks like you are having a great time in Kenya! Great time on your half marathon. Look forward to seeing you back in September.
    I have been training fro the Vancouver marathon in May, and the around the bay in March. My 5km time is down to 18:15, and my half marathon is 1:27, so I am keen to get a sub 3:05 in Vancouver.
    Anyhow, I hope we can get together for a few runs this summer before next season starts up. Keep running hard, and talk to you soon!

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