Like everyone else, I was shocked to hear that Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya, the reigning Olympic marathon and World Marathon Majors champion, died Sunday in a fall from a second-floor balcony in his home in Nyahururu, Kenya.
To call it sad is an understatement. He was the bright, shining young star of the sport. That his personal life often fell short of the dazzling man he was on the pavement, and of the hero-worship he inspired, is also sad. Reports of his death have involved more talk of his personal woes than of his running. That his life ended tragically, under questionable and preventable circumstances, and in a manner that only highlighted his humanity is, quite simply, heartbreaking.
But for those of us that did not know him, except as that brazen young kid who not only talked the talk, but walked the walk of a champion, I’d like to remember his legacy as a runner. Read the rest of this entry →