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2013, A Year of No Excuses

By Justin Lagat, courtesy of As I did my morning run yesterday, on the first day of this year, I only came across three other athletes on the trails here in Eldoret, which is by far a very small number compared to those I would meet on any other typical day. The date seemed to have given many a reason to opt out, but to me, I did not want to let the date be an excuse to miss out on my training. Had I done that, definitely it would have meant I would be having many other lame excuses to be missing my training throughout the year. Today, on the 2nd of January 2013, as I set out on my morning run at 6:20am, I was on the lookout to see the percentage increase in the number of the athletes that would be on the road from yesterday. The training around here in Eldoret just began on a very high note for some athletes. I myself was caught in the surprise because I was expecting everything to begin slowly then to pick up after some time, but it was just the second day of the year and the training pace ended up being higher than I had anticipated! I ran past the usual starting point where I usually met with my training group and found no one there. But less than five minutes on the road, I met three athletes running towards me from the opposite direction. They looked strangers to me and I could not tell from which group they belonged, which is not strange here in Eldoret where there are so many athletes from so many groups. Further ahead, I caught up with another group of three athletes doing an easy run. I could only recognize one of them who would usually join our group two times every week; Tuesdays and Thursdays when we would be doing our speed workouts. Shortly after exchanging greetings and running past them, I saw a bigger group of slightly over ten in number running towards me from the opposite direction. I had taken some time without glancing over my shoulder and as I neared this group, I could not help noticing that there were more shoes stumping on the ground that I was seeing. I glanced back and saw another big group gaining on me from behind. I quickly moved to the left side of the road to let the oncoming group pass, then to the left to let the group behind me pass as well.

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