Dare-devil divers of Cheploge Gorge

Iten – the home of champions.

The change in temperature is dramatic – at the bottom it’s boiling hot and at the top it’s beautifully cool. Long-legged lean runners run this way and that way on the rough paths along the roads of the world-famous town for high-altitude training where athletes like David Rudisha, Mo Farah, Paula Radcliff, Aspen Kiprop, Edna Kiplagat and many record-breakers regularly train.

Iten – home of champions Copyright Rupi Mangat
Iten – home of champions Copyright Rupi Mangat

“There’s no place like this,” says Chiara Raso at the High Altitude Training Centre founded by Lornah Kiplagat – Kenya’s multiple world champion – nearly 20 years ago. Raso is from the Alps in Italy who won the gold medal in 2006 in mountain skiing. She’s accompanying a team of Italian athletes amongst them the 100-kilometer ultra-marathoner Matteo Simone Vivian.

“Iten has everything for runners,” she enthuses. “It’s got the warm weather, high altitude and endless dirt tracks that make the leg muscles stronger and avoids injuries.

“It’s the home of champions where everybody respects you because you are a runner.”

Rupi the African Trotter

Daring divers at Cheploge Gorge preparing for dives. Copyright Rupi Mangat Daring divers at Cheploge Gorge preparing for dives. Copyright Rupi Mangat

Published Saturday Magazine, Nation newspaper 10 February 2018

A narrow gorge slits the earth below the smooth black road surrounded by the massifs of the Elgeyo-Marakwet that winds its way up to Iten the home of champions who have dominated the stage of world-class runners.

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