A Running Messenger is Born


Abraham Inspiring the Children of Matungen

This was written after a run early this summer and shares Global Running Culture’s founder Abraham Kosgei’s early days as a running messenger.

This morning, Abraham and I ran to the cliffs of the Nambe Chutes and climbed to the top, northwest of Nambe Lake on a steep cross country route. We caught up on things while almost exclusively ascending for 2 hours to the top of 12,300’ Deception Peak. We expanded our mutual histories, telling one another some never before shared stories while having a blast.

Abraham’s first experience as a messenger occurred at a young age. He was selected by his family’s elders to deliver an important and time-sensitive message to his Grandfather on the other side of the family, the Chief of the Keiyo. Abraham ran all day, first to his Mum’s house and then on to Grandpa’s, arriving late in the evening.

Abraham explained to me how he delivered the message, telling Grandpa some-time after arriving that he had something to share one to one and delivering the message in private rather than breathlessly blurting it out to everyone upon arrival. Grandpa replied that Abraham must be hungry and they shared a meal while Grandpa told Abraham the message to be carried back the next morning.

Abraham carried out his task and from then on, he was trusted to convey important messages. While still young, facing another serious situation, he was not sent by an Elder, but had to make the decisions about what to do himself and those decisions and delivery of those messages to the right people were critical to maintaining the strength of his Tribe while dealing with adverse news. Such is the life of a running messenger.

Smooth running,

Joseph Karnes
Race Director