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2007 IAAF Cross-Country World Championships. « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog


2007 IAAF Cross-Country World Championships.

Well training has been nothing compelling to blog about this week, I’ll go ver some nostaligia and share the weekend I spent in Mombassa Kenya of which was prior to my MT Kili accent.

The 2007 IAAF Cross Country World Championships where to be in Kenya and I had to be there since I was in country! I knew a few Kenyas that where racing so I was able to bum a ride down to the Malindi coast.

After a long journey I arrived and in town where we saw this huge banner that sayed “CROSS-COUNTRY COMES HOME” Very bold and very true statement I though.

Race day was hot and humid and for the first time since 1997, they would only hold the long course race! 8km for the woman and 12km for the men.


Both junior races where dominated by Kenyans!

The crowds keep screaming,




Since they had the podium! I even think top 4…


Then it was time for the woman!

The start was fast and my friend Lornah Kiplagat wasted no time setting her pace. She led the group on the first lap with Dibaba on her heels! But like she had trained, she increased the pace gradually and won with a big enuff lead that allowed her to grab a Dutch flag and wrap herself in it for the last 100m or so.

The Japaness woman ran as a group, from start to almost finish!


Heres me and Lornah some time after her race!


She did get booed a lot! But those booooers are poorly informed.

Lornah was born in Kenya, married her Ducth coach/manager and got very good funding and sponsors in Holland! Now, she has a training centre in Iten, where I stayed for many months. She has a program that assist young female kenyan runners to acheive good grades through home schooling at the training center all the while working part time for the mizugu tourist (White people) and with the ultimate outcome to send these un-privilidge girls to american university for equald life oppertunities… When I was there 2 years ago, they had already sent about 30 girls over the spand of 5 years to shcools like MIT, Harvart, UCLA, ect. All on running schoolarships! Woah!

So, to the mens race.

Ready, steady, START!


First group was Kenya/Etheiopoa/Eritria/Quatar

Second group was Tanzania/Uganda/RSA/Marocco.

Third group was Japan/North America/Europe

And then a string of miscelanious nations.


I was mezmorized by the running technik and bio mechanics of the first group.

-Tight arms against their core, pumping furiously.

-They did use their entire feet to run.

-When going slow, then landed flat footed

-When in cruize control, almost overstriding they would landed on their heel and rooling onto their arch and off their toes.

-And then, when attacking or finishing, they would go up up on their tipy toes!


Some drama at the end, while Bekele of Ethiopia was in a breakaway with Tadese from Eritria, Bekele would put in a seiours and impressive accelaration to go for the win but to only to be counter attacked and then passed and dropped! This is the present 5000m and 10 000m world record holder and going for his 6th strait x-country title!!


Moments later, a few meters away from me, Bekele would go off course and start walking with his head looking at the grass…His skin was shinning from all the sweat and his little quads where full of veins.

At that very moment, the entire crowd started to celebrate because a Kenyan was in 4th and now is in 3rd position.

2nd position was also a Kenyan.

As I tried to get an upclose picture of him, the Kenyan spectators would start to throw whatever rubbish they could get their hands on. Rocks/soda cans/wood whatever!

No picture since he ran away really fast…

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