Kenyans Make Trip For Tulsa Run

Friday, October 24th 2008, 5:37 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Some of Kenya's top runners made the trip to Tulsa for Saturday's run, but they spent Friday doing a little training for children.

Any one of the Kenyans could win the Tulsa Run. But they want to let children know they can be winners, too.

That's why Scott & Vanessa Robinson set up an international running club and arranged to have four Kenyan runners visit the Deborah Brown Community School.

"And introduce them to Tulsa, where I grew up, because they're like family, our family," said Vanessa Robinson of the AmeriKenyan Running Club.

With a personal best 1 mile run at 3 minutes 43 seconds, Haron Lagat is an elite medium distance runner, who says he's been running all his life.

"There's nothing you can do without running when you're a Kenyan kid, because they send you, they might send you 10 miles to see your grandma and get back," said Lagat.

For the Kenyans, this is a chance to see some of America's culture and share some of theirs. To do that, they got the children out of the classroom for some sprints.

Lagat is 6'2" and weighs 160 pounds. After spending most of the last five years in America, he's still surprised by how much Americans weigh and how little they exercise.

"You can exercise and get better.  Because whenever you eat and sit down, you get overweight," said Lagat.

The children got to see these top athletes up close and the athletes will take something home, too. They collect shoes and clothing to take back to Kenya.

"And they take home large bags of clothing and shoes to be able to hand out in their villages," said Scott Robinson.

It's the first time the Kenyans will have run the Tulsa Run and they hoped to inspire the children to pursue a lifetime of exercise.

Following the Tulsa Run, the Kenyans were invited to attend a Tulsa Oilers game which they'll attend with Tulsa's mayor.