2017 Santa Fe Thunder Honoree

1968 Mexico City Olympics – Kip at the 1,500m finish line

Mexico City – 1968

Kipchoge ‘Kip’ Keino leads the Olympic 10,000M final. With one kilometer to go, suffering from intense abdominal pain, he collapses to the infield. Despite being disqualified, Kip refuses to concede and finishes the race. Diagnosed with a gallbladder infection, doctors advise Kip to cease competing, warning that he risks permanent injury or even death. Declining the doctors’ advice, two days later, Kip wins the Silver medal in the 5,000M run, missing Gold by less than a quarter second.

Kip Keino, Joseph Karnes and Abraham Kosgei – Kenyan National Cross Country Championships, 2013

Still suffering from the infection, Kip qualifies for the 1,500M final, considers withdrawing and sleeps in on race day. Deciding to run at the last minute, his taxi is caught in Mexico City traffic and Kip jumps out and runs the last two miles to the 7,200’ elevation Olympic stadium, arriving just in time to be checked in. Facing a strong field including World Record holder, Jim Ryun, who completes the first lap near the rear of the field, Kip takes the lead from fellow Kenyan Ben Jipcho and goes through the half mile in a blazing 1:55.3. Heading into the third lap, Keino drops the field, completing 3 laps in 2:53.4. Kip dominates the final lap, maintaining his powerful stride for Olympic Gold, setting an Olympic Record of 3:34.91!

Kip’s performance electrified his newly independent nation and led the way for countless young runners to pursue their dreams, transforming Kenya into the strongest distance running nation on Earth. Global Running Culture is thrilled to announce that Mr. Keino will travel from Kenya to Santa Fe and will be this years guest of honor!

Abraham Kosgei and I had the good fortune to meet Kip at the 2013 Kenyan National Cross Country Championships at Uluru Gardens in Nairobi and to enjoy a long conversation about running, life and our mutual passion for helping children. Mr. Keino described his dedication to Kenyan youth, establishing the Baraka Farm orphanage and school to provide children in need with the opportunity to make the most of their lives. Kip’s story reaffirms the value of Global Running Culture’s efforts to better the lives of youth through the powers of sport and education in 3 communities where running is a vital part of the indigenous culture: northern New Mexico, Abraham’s village of Matunget, Kenya, and the village of Cusarare, Copper Canyon, Mexico (a group of Tarahumara ultra marathon champions and artisans participate in Santa Fe Thunder each year!)

We invite you to join our multi-cultural celebration of wellness by participating in the 7th running of Santa Fe Thunder and to take advantage of the a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet a living legend. Kip will speak at the pre-race Gathering of Messengers dinner and will attend the Global Footprints Youth Run and Global Running Festival on Saturday, September 16. On race day, he is scheduled to serve as the official Half Marathon starter and to sign autographs and pose for photos at the finish line Harambee Fiesta.

For those desiring a shorter challenge, the Lightning 5K and 1-Mile Fitness Walk will start at Buffalo Thunder at the same time as the half marathon, follow a beautiful off road course (on a paved trail) and end at the same finish line, allowing participants to cheer the half marathoners completing their event (including the world class runners competing for over $5,000 in prize money) and to enjoy the post-race Harambee Fiesta!

Stay tuned for more details, including reserving your opportunity to have your photo taken with Kip and to obtain an autographed photo! Also the opportunity to purchase Gathering of the Messengers pre-race dinner tickets, featuring a keynote talk by Mr. Keino, will be announced soon. If you would like to reserve your seats now, send an email to info@santafethunder.com. Attendance is limited and the dinner at Buffalo Thunder Resort will sell out.

The Santa Fe Thunder early entry window closes on June 15. Save $10 off your half marathon entry by entering now! The discount will automatically be applied at check out. Also, to take advantage of official race hotel Buffalo Thunder Resort’s, special participant discount, call (505) 455-5555 and use the code THNDR. Buffalo Thunder will sell out quickly, so please don’t wait!

The opportunity to meet Kip Keino and spend a long weekend at Buffalo Thunder while enjoying all Santa Fe has to offer is a unique bucket list opportunity that will not happen again. Treat yourself to an unforgettable weekend and Run the Race Different!

Smooth Running,
Joseph Karnes
Race Director