New Delhi: The Kenyans run to milk medals and herd cattles, literally. It is a well-known fact that Kenyans rule the world of endurance running but what is not is that they spend as much as USD 15000 from their prize money on cattle herding, mainly cows.
Stanley Biwott, the accomplished runner who came second in the highly-competitive London Marathon earlier this year, reveals they indulge in cattle herding to keep the Kenyan tradition alive and make a quick buck in the process. Biwott has as many as 10 cattles and yet he is open to making additions in the already impressive number.
"I have enough cattles for now," he quipped in a light-hearted conversation ahead of Sunday's Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. What does he do with all of them? "If I am not around someone else in the family takes care of them, it is a big family of ten, plus the extended family.
"We are into cattle herding for domestic and business purposes. The cattles in our area produces a lot of milk, making it a good source of livelihood," said the 28-year-old. Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor, the reigning world champion who is here for the Delhi Half Marathon, has three cattles at home. For now he is happy with what he has.
"We all have cattles back home. It is a tradition, much like running," said Kamworor. He goes into the race as the favourite having experienced the course in 2011 and 2013, when he finished second. It is a telling number that 10 out of the 11 athletes who have broken the one-hour mark in the 21km formant are from Kenya.
Kamworor is one of them and he is aiming to better his last year's time of 58 minutes 54 seconds, slower only than Ethiopian winner Atsedu Tsegay, who clocked 59:12.
"It is my fifth time in India. I have won twice in Bangalore (10km run) and finished second in Delhi twice. I have to go for the win on Sunday. I hope the weather remains good," added the 21-year-old, who has also starred in the movie called 'The Unknown Runner'.
Unlike Kamworor, Biwott is running in India for the first time. He says the pollution in Delhi is not a problem for him. "I have not raced since the London Marathon in April, so it has been a while. I was recovering from a hamstring injury. I feel fully fit now and ready to run. "As far as the weather is concerned, you have to be prepared to run in all kinds of weather. I prefer moderate climate, not too hot or cold," said Biwott.