Having just joined a Bude RATS beginners' group I was naturally interested in how the more experienced RATS had got on at the Barnstaple marathon. I was initially a little surprised to see that the first and second placed runners were from Kenya. I probably shouldn't have been as I'm reading 'Running With The Kenyans' by Adharanand Finn at the moment. He writes about the 6 months he spent living in Iten and training with various Kenyans in the many training camps around the town. Getting up at 5am or earlier to go on training runs with them, eating ungali (a type of maize dough) and stewed kale, frequently running with the women because he couldn't keep up with the men. How, for many of those he met, winning a foreign marathon is a way out of poverty. So yes, I expected to see Kenyans in the elite group at London, or Boston, or New York; I just hadn't expected it at Barnstaple.

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