Sunday, May 30, 2010

Run With Kenyans for Global Health

Gotab Berur Foundation, also based here in the Duke City, are sponsoring "Run With Kenyans for Global Health" at Highpoint Sports and Wellness, 4300 Landau NE (click here for driving directions).  

Participants will have the opportunity to run 5K race along with several Kenyan runners who live and train in Albuquerque. There will also be a 1K run for children.  Click here for registration brochure

The money raised from the run will be used to purchase an ambulance for the Kisesini clinic in an impoverished area of eastern Kenya. The ambulance costs about $51,000. "One of our major thrusts right now is our van that we have used is completely worn out,"Katie Gnauck, a member of the GHP board of directors, said in an interview with the Albuquerque Journal. "The Kisesini Clinic is remote; it's about an hour and a half (drive) in optimal conditions to an organized hospital."  

"Without emergency transportation, people who are critically ill or women who need to go to the hospital for a C-section don't get there, so oftentimes they die. People there live a minimal existence," Donna Tully, a physician assistant at UNM Hospital and GHP board member,told The Journal, " They have to walk four hours a day to get dirty water. So buying an ambulance is something that will be a great benefit to all of these surrounding villages."
GHP and the UNM medical school send six to 10 students to Kenya each year to spend a month working at the Kisesini Clinic. "The month we were there it was the rainy season, and it was almost impossible to get in and out (of the clinic)," Leslie Palmerlee, a third-year medical student told The Journal. "Sometimes we saw patients that had to go on a motorcycle, and these are incredibly ill patients."  Palmerlee is planning to run in this event.

The Kenyan Runners
The Kenyan run committee features both active and retired Kenyan athletes who live in New Mexico. Several are distinguished. For instance, Peter Koech, a running coach and chairman of the Gotab Berur Foundation, holds a world record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. A dozen or more Kenyan men and women from across the state will be competing in the June 6 event. Some of the names will be familiar to Albuquerque running community. Among the competitors are: Mbarak Hussein, Daniel Cheruiyot, Abraham Kosgei, Richard Rono, Solomon Kandie, Simon Sawe, Zacharia Nyambaso, Robert Onchaga, Elias Kogo, Jonathan Ndambuki, Araya Haregot, Robert Letting, Everlyn Lagat and Atelelech Ketema
The sponsors of the event plan an African celebration following the runs, including food, music and crafts from the region.

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