Where Dreams Don't Fade
Where Dreams Don't Fade goes beyond the glory and into the back story of the people that are so often on display, but seldom understood. For every gold medal there are countless numbers of other Kenyans who trained all their lives for their own shot at greatness. For these three people giving up their dream is not an option, because it would be a loss of their life style, just like the other runners living and training in Kenya.Contact Us!
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Alex Mneria is the brother of one of today’s best 5000 meter runners. Alex has yet to make a name for himself, but under his brother’s guidance he truly believes that he too can make it on the world stage. He has the resources and the support that Virginia does not. Even with his brother's help, Alex must find a way to attract the attention of a manager in order to have any hope of racing abroad. In a world championship year there is no better way of gaining attention then making it to the Kenyan National Track Championships. Last year Alex placed 6th at Kenya’s Military Championships and this year he hopes to improve on that result and qualify for Nationals.
Robert Kigen has already seen success as a runner. In high school he was one of Kenya’s best 800 meter runners, placing second at the World Youth Championships. After high school he moved to train full time with his cousin, former world champion and world record holder in the steeplechase Wilson Boit Kipketer. But while training Robert developed a spinal injury that forced him to slow, and eventually stop, his training. Recently he has shifted his focus to business and real-estate endeavors. Despite his new success and comfortable lifestyle he still dreams of coming back from his injury to regain his championship form.
Virginia Rono attended one of Kenya’s best universities, but now several years after graduating she has yet to find a stable job. She started running seriously after graduation, as a way to lose weight but also as a source of income where her education has failed. She is now committed to training while struggling to find any way to supplement her income. Her ultimate goal is to get her Masters and become a better candidate for employers, but now also wants to make a career of running.
In the 1968 Mexico City Olympics
Kenyan runner Kip Keino burst onto the world stage with a jaw dropping performance in the 1500 meters. Kenya's early success was written off as a fluke due to the high altitude of Mexico City, which resembled Keino's home in Kenya’s western highlands. Soon after, however, Kenya’s dominance could no longer be doubted as they won major races from 800 meters to the marathon. Since then Kenya has produced more Olympic distance running medals than any other country, despite it’s small size. To this day Kenyan runners are a staple of any major running event, from big city marathons to championship track events.
On television they are stars for the moment, but as soon as their race is over they become simply another Kenyan runner. Post race interviews are short and anonymous. Running is one of the highest participated sports in the world, and yet the athletes at the top are often forgotten. Kenyan runners have become a single entity for the media, as soon as one record is set, there is always another Kenyan poised to break it.
One reason for their anonymity
could be the vast number of serious runners training in Kenya. Kip Keino hails from Eldoret, and after his success, this small town became a mecca for any Kenyan looking to become a runner. Today Eldoret, and its nearby neighbor Iten, have become the training center for thousands of aspiring runners. For the people that live and train in these towns there is not only hope that they will make a living from running, there is expectation. With high rates of poverty and unemployment, there are few job opportunities, but running is always an option. Around every corner is a former champion training with the up and comer who will soon knock them off their throne.
Where Dreams Don't Fade follows three runners who live and train in Eldoret and Iten. Each of these athletes are at different points in their running careers, with various levels of previous success, but their drive is the same. Like the thousands of other runners that live and train with them, they strive to become professional runners. By following their progress, Where Dreams Don't Fade provides an in depth look at a world rarely explored.