APRIL 2, 2006
Traditionally People who run marathons are superbly trained athletes. Six to eight months out away from the race itself a regimen begins that focuses on running, diet, nutrition, and equipment. Sore feet are a by-product of running and runners are very conscious about the quality of their equipment. This attention to detail marks the dedicated runner and the one who can complete the race.
Whether it is Boston, New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, one particular nation has emerged to create a lock on success, and their story is quite remarkable. The nation of Kenya supports the athlete in training and from the time a young child takes its first steps on the dirt floor of its primitive home in the African savannah everyone is watching the athletes grow. Is the young girl or boy running to school the next in a long history of successful Kenyan marathoners? The answer for over a decade has been yes.
In the recent LA Marathon the majority of top finishers in the men's division were Kenyans. Hooray for a small nation's success on the world stage, for they have been able to take back their winnings and have re-invested in the athletes of the future and in the health of the villages. Their running for gold has taken a long term view of history and they are proud to support hundreds of running clinics and centers throughout their beautiful country. Frankly, no one else can compete at their level today.
Taking a long term view of history means that I may not see the results of my labors now, but every day working to empower others to make a difference in our fragile island homes long term well being, is a day well spent.
The environmental marathon is on. We need to train the young to run alongside those who are starting to make changes, and challenge those others who remain on the environmental sidelines.
As a 62 year old I may never see the finish line, but it will appear closer and closer if we all remain focused on the task at hand, keep up the training, not over-look the details in each environmental issue and applaud those who succeed in getting to the finish line. And besides, when we are in the environmental marathon we have a higher purpose than just individual accomplishment; we are working for all generations, and especially the young.