|HOME OF CHAMPIONS - ITEN|
|Masai warriors at the new track opening|
My first training session in the UK after spending five weeks out in the sunshine of Kenya was definitely a shock to the system. Snow, sleet and rain which quickly transformed into hailstones was a far cry from the sunshine I had got used to out in the heights of the Rift Valley. The hailstones knocked against my skin like small thunderbolts of lighting and I really struggled to get moving any quicker than snails pace! But maybe this is karma. I have been spoilt with perfect weather conditions for the past month - perhaps the weather gods are just wanting to make sure I don't get things too easy and become too complacent.
|Myself and Paula Radcliffe after the hill session|
The dusty, dirt track is amass with Kenyan athletes in the early hours of the morning, completing large training sessions. It really is an amazing experience to go along and witness. Olympic Champions, World Champions and World Record Holders all share the same dirt track and can be seen most days churning out the miles along the dusty paths. Whilst out running, you can easily count up to 200 athletes at a time – the depth of competition out here, truly is fascinating and it's easy to see why the Kenyan athletes are amongst the best in the world. There really is nowhere else quite like Iten.
During my time on camp we also had a visit from UK Anti Doping – who had flown out a practitioner specifically to take a urine and blood test from Mo Farah, myself and two other GB athletes. It really is an intense system that the UK enforce in order to stop drug cheats ruining our sport. It is just a little unfair and unfortunate that not all countries enforce the same system – none of the Romanians, Turkish, Chinese or Algerian athletes that are also currently out training here, were called in for tests. The UK also implement a whereabouts system of which all athletes (of an elite level) have to give their whereabouts for a single hour every single day, along with their overnight address. Failure to do so – results in a missed test. This is why the drug testers knew that we were all out training in Kenya. It really is a fascinating system and one that definitely works but unfortunately not all countries feel the need to impose such strict rules.
Kenya yet again was a fantastic training camp but unfortunately I have come back fighting off a cold. Some people like collecting stamps – I seem to collect colds. It's unfortunate as I would of loved to have raced some indoors races this season. For me – it's a little disheartening after training intensely for the last month but my main focus has always been and still remains to be the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year.
So it's back to the cold, lonely grind of training in the UK. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger... so they say! But in my case.. it lands me with yet another nice little illness!
|Day trek in the forest|
|Tempted to quote TLC but i'll resist! We found the waterfall!|
|Hidden in the forest - Iten.|
|Waterfall in Kenya|
|Back to the snow! Loughborough track|