The Kenyan Marathon in London

London marathon

Hats off to this year’s London marathon winners Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei.  We, KenBrits, salute and love you.    I’m beginning to think the London Marathon should be renamed – the Kenyan Marathon in London because Kenyans have dominated it for several years and will continue to do so for millenniums to come. 

Does anyone else love the way British Media reports news? “Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran the second fastest marathon in history to win the London Marathon for a fourth time as Britain’s Mo Farah finished fifth.  Kipchoge, 34, who broke the world record in Berlin last year, triumphed in two hours two minutes 38 seconds.  Farah finished three minutes one second behind Kipchoge, while fellow Briton Callum Hawkins was 10th.  Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei, 25, became the youngest female London winner, with Britain’s Charlotte Purdue 10th.”

If Mo had won and Kipchoge came in 2 seconds after him, this is how it would have been reported: “Mo Farah, the greatest British man alive, has won 2019 London Marathon beating East Africans [grouping Ethiopians and Kenyans as one for minimisation effects] who dominated the race in the past…… and then a long history on how far he’d come.  Saying Mo finished 3 minutes one second behind Kipchoge sounds like he was number two therefore overshadowing the fact that he came 5th – gotta love the British.  Anyways, kudos to him too because I couldn’t run the 26.2 miles course for 3 days despite being Kenyan! Beware – the next person who asks me if I can run like those marathon guys, I’ll eviscerate you and then bathe in your tears.

As for Brigid Kosgei, I think she slayed the women’s elite event.  She’s without a doubt the queen bee of marathon and she’s only 25. 

Someone sent me a fascinating caption about Kipchoge, that read: “Kipchoge has won 10 out of 11 marathon races.  Yet he still cleans toilets during his training camps….” I did a little research and discovered that Kipchoge trains with amateur runners in a training camp where everyone, including him, has duties.  Duties like we had in boarding school where one group of girls cleaned the dining room, while another cleaned the ablution block.  Kipchoge says being humble is the way to go and that’s why he cleans the toilets like everyone else in the camp – in school some higher than almighty bootlickers wouldn’t assign themselves such duties in case they got permanent dysentery, monogitis or something.  It’s also interesting to note that he stays with amateur runners so he can impact his wisdom and expertise.

In today’s world where getting fame, fortune and celebrity status does not necessarily mean hard work, a lot of people have lost all human perspective and humility.  It’s in the same world where some people think being humble is a sign of weakness.  The same world where majority of people don’t know the difference between pride and arrogance.  They don’t know the difference between bragging and sharing.  It is in times like these the world needs people like Kipchoge, or the rich oil tycoon in Nigeria who I hear, has sent an ambassador to the UK to look for small business start-ups by Africans because  he wants to fund them, and he does not accept donations or want recognition – talk about humility.  One day I will talk at length on ‘the types of people’ including those who shout from the rooftops when they donate £5 to a cause, and those who say ‘I’m a very humble person’ while doing something totally vain and conceited to those who give so much but no one knows about it.

According to extensive studies by occupational psychologists, humble people have the ability to thrive in their chosen professions because they give credit where due and are open to collaboration. Sometimes though, humble people find themselves in difficult situations when they must make choices based on instincts other than personal values e.g. whistle blowing, however, it is still a humble and brave thing to accept a situation with grace and stand by a decision.

Here are some of my favourite quotes on humility – the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.

  • Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up. Jesse Jackson
  • Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less. C. S. Lewis
  • Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real. Thomas Merton
  • “Thank you” is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. Alice Walker
  • The greatest friend of truth is Time, her greatest enemy is Prejudice, and her constant companion is Humility. Charles Caleb Colton
  • The proud man can learn humility, but he will be proud of it. Mignon McLaughlin
  • Real genius is nothing else but the supernatural virtue of humility in the domain of thought. Simone Weil
  • Humility is important because it keeps you fresh and new. Steven Tyler
  • Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot. Thomas Moore
  • Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else.  Madeleine L’Engle
  • Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you. Andrew Murray
  • Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying. St. Vincent de Paul
  • One cannot be humble and aware of oneself at the same time. Madeleine L’Engle
  • Selflessness is humility. Humility and freedom go hand in hand. Only a humble person can be free. Jeff Wilson
  • Have more humility. Remember you don’t know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life–and maybe even please a few strangers. A.L. Kennedy

Be humble for always.  Be kind to all.

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