Update Kiprotich National High Altitude Training Center
Three weeks ago, I visited the construction site of the Kiprotich National High Altitude Training Center. An extensive project with luxury facilities for endurance athletes. The site is located in a place with amazing views – on 2.600m. altitude – in ‘the middle of nowhere’, and only 20 minutes driving from my home in Kapchorwa. Because the project is taking already 7 years, I wonder: Will it become reality or not? And if yes: What will be the facilities endurance athletes can actually use? Based on my observations on the site I can say that I am quite positive about the developments. In this blog I will explain and show you why.
On arrival, the first thing I am noticing is the expanse of the terrain. A surface of 2 by 3 kilometer, which will be used – according to the original plans – for a stadium, indoor gym facilities, a five-star hotel, a cross country running track and a University. As for the rest, I am on the site with a local friend Fred and boda-driver Moses. On our first stop, in the middle of the site, we see the signboard below. On this board, a 400-meter running track and athlete hostel is portrayed.
Wide Cross Country running track
After dropping off from our boda, the first things that catches the eye is a wide ditch, swaying through the landscape. Some people tell us this will become a Cross Country running track of 3 kilometer. A wide track with slight alterations and breath-taking views of Mount Elgon and Kapchorwa (which is quite important for me as an amateur runner, though I can imagine it also inspires the elite athletes!). Below you see Fred who is pre-testing the track!
Foundation athlete hostel is there
Subsequently, we are walking around the terrain where we meet a few construction workers. Yes, even on a Sunday people are working here! We discover that the Cross Country running track exists – except for 100 meter of rocky area – of excavated earth. Same as what happened with the main road from Kapchorwa to this construction site, this small area will need some explosives to blast the rocks that are blocking the road. In the center of the construction site we come across some site huts, where the Chinese and Ugandan workers enjoy their lunch from. When we walk further, we see the foundation of the athlete’s hostel:
When we drive back home (for the Roland Garros final between Nadal and Wawrinka), I am having a positive feeling about the progress in Teryet. In five months time – the last time I was here was in December 2016 – all of the aforementioned developments took plae. Maybe the project managers are working towards marathon pace now!
Altitude training in Kapchorwa?
Is it time for an adventurous altitude training? Even when the Training Center is not ready, Kapchorwa provides the perfect conditions to improve your endurance. Various Dutch athletes have done this already, while I provided them with accommodation and connections. As From Coach to Coach, we can develop a tailor-made program for you. Want to know more? Feel free to connect via: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a bonus a video interview with Joshua Cheptegei, a local professional runner: