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David Thuo, the leisure runner on a 90km record-breaking marathon

David Thuo’s BMW automobile boot could possibly be mistaken for an elite sports activities membership locker room. A number of pairs of the most recent Nike racing sneakers right here, bottles of meticulously blended hydration fluids there, a coaching mat, packed full-nutrient meals, working attire…

What strikes me, specifically, is his wealthy repertoire of Nike racing sneakers.

“The shoe that you’ve got raced in shouldn’t be the shoe that you simply practice in,” Thuo explains his a number of shoe assortment, with every pair’s mileage clocked nicely documented on a working app.

“I’ve to have completely different sneakers as a result of they put on out in a different way. It’s good to have a shoe that’s about to wear down, like this one which’s about to go off…this one is the one I’ve been coaching in for the Comrade’s Marathon, and that is the one I’ll run the Comrades Marathon with, and so I’ve began utilizing it in order that by the point I’m doing the Comrades Marathon the shoe will in all probability have coated 120 to 150 kilometres,” he says.

“These have finished about 400 kilometres… I observe them on (working app) Strava… and that is the one I ran with on the Tokyo Marathon. By the point I ran in Tokyo, the sneakers had coated about 80 kilometres,” he says, taking me by way of the reasoning behind the a number of pairs of Nike racing sneakers in his possession after an early morning run in Nairobi’s Karen.

“These are for the simple runs, I’m about to section them off, and that is the principle shoe for coaching now whereas this one is for the Comrades Marathon. By the point I’ve finished the Comrades Marathon, it is going to be going to 200 kilometres, after which I’ll do one other 200 kilometres with it and by that point I’ll get one other pair as I put together for the Sydney Marathon in September,” he says.

Recreational runner David Thuo

Leisure runner David Thuo explains his a number of shoe assortment on Could 15, 2024. 

Picture credit score: Bonface Bogita | Nation Media Group

The shoe is a crucial a part of coaching as a result of it takes eight occasions your physique weight, so in case you have worn-out sneakers, you threat damage rather a lot.

“As a result of I’m additionally working on 100% tarmac, the sneakers are a really crucial a part of my coaching,” he provides.

Such is Thuo’s consideration to element that even surpasses that of many Kenyan elite runners, even these with direct, profitable shoe sponsorship from sportswear giants like Nike, Adidas, or Asics.

The Comrades Marathon that Thuo is speaking about is going on right now, Sunday, June 9.

It’s a 90-kilometre problem in South Africa and the world’s oldest ultra-marathon race historically run between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is likely one of the world’s most difficult ultra-marathon races.

Thuo is amongst a bunch of over 50 runners from East Africa, together with over 30 from Kenya, 25 from Uganda and 5 from Tanzania, working in right now’s Comrades Marathon.

Leisure runner David Thuo says he makes use of the identical hydration fluid elite like Eliud Kipchoge use. He mixes the drinks relying on the space. 

Picture credit score: Bonface Bogita | Nation Media Group

Fifth time

Will probably be the fifth look on the Comrades Marathon for the 48-year-old Thuo, the proprietor and CEO of Dathon Ace, a Wilson Airport-based firm that overhauls plane parts for plane corporations in Kenya and the East African area.

Thuo’s love for working additionally sees him function the “Health with David” outfit that seeks to assist people and corporates in Kenya and past to develop one of the best model of themselves by way of working.

“I’ve a motto ‘to encourage by way of working.’ Well being is your greatest wealth as a result of when that fails, nothing else issues,” he explains as he cools down from the morning run at a 3.2 kilometres “Vienna Loop” route he mapped out and named round Nairobi’s Karen Plains Street, Begonia Drive, Farah Street and Forest View Street.

In March this yr, Thuo joined the unique “Six-Star Membership” of runners which have accomplished all six, well-known World Marathon Majors (WMM) races in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

In Tokyo, he was amongst a bunch that set a Guinness World Report for ‘essentially the most Six Star Finishers on a single day’, crusing previous the ten,000 mark for whole members of the ‘Six Star Corridor of Fame.’

“Standing at any of our medal presentation areas all the time presents a reminder of the ability of those six races, and what it means to the runners once they full their journey,” Thuo displays.

“The fruits of reaching one thing so wonderful that so few have finished is unimaginable—the journey of commitments, staying true to your desires. Now I really feel completely wonderful and ecstatic. It’s all in regards to the angle within the ready room—clapping for others ready my flip,” he says.

Recreational runner David Thuo displays his marathon medals.

Leisure runner David Thuo shows his marathon medals on this image taken on March 18, 2024. 

Picture credit score: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

On the Tokyo Marathon in March, practically 3,000 medals got out on the end line to athletes who had accomplished all six majors, with Thuo finishing the race in two hours, 38 minutes, and 59 seconds. Fairly spectacular for a leisure runner.

“My primary aim was to recover from this “six-star” hurdle in Tokyo and to do it in beneath three hours, which is a leisure runner’s dream. I simply got here from working my second quickest time within the Valencia Marathon of two:47:00 in December final yr.”

Most of the runners collaborating within the Tokyo file had waited for this second since first incomes a spot within the 2020 race, which was lowered to an elite-only area because the Covid-19 pandemic curtailed worldwide journey and mass participation occasions everywhere in the world.

“Runners continued to attend by way of 2021 and 2022 earlier than journey restrictions for Japan had been relaxed to permit abroad guests to enter the nation,” explains Thuo, who missed an e-mail that had gone to his junk folder containing his official invitation to final yr’s Tokyo Marathon.


He describes his working and work ethic, as a meticulous consideration to element.

“After I go dwelling within the night, I pack my hydration fluids for the next morning’s run,” he explains his each day routine.

“I take advantage of Maurten, which is identical hydration fluid elite like Eliud Kipchoge use. I combine the drinks relying on the space. I do about 140 to 150 kilometres per week and while you put in a lot work, a incorrect drink can mess up together with your whole coaching of weeks and months,” he provides.

“I don’t purchase meals as a result of I need to eat one thing particular to my coaching,” he says, displaying his meals bag that incorporates a protein drink for post-run restoration, eggs and greens, a night snack and lunch with protein, greens, chapati and arrowroot. Individuals ask me what I eat, I eat little or no however very effectively and correctly,” he says.

He has ticked each coaching day (the micro wins on the way in which to the macro wins) regardless of a heavy work schedule.

“I’m a enterprise proprietor working 18 hours a day, however, fortunately, I get to decide on which 18 hours I work,” he says.

The distinction between him and the elite athletes, he says, is that he has to go to work in the course of the day.

“They are going to run, then sleep. However I’ve acquired a really busy job so once I get to work, I need to focus,” explains Thuo whose regime sees him off to sleep by 8.30 pm, waking up by 3 am every day for his morning exercises.

Avid runner David Thuo does a stretching train at Karen, Nairobi on Could 15, 2024.

Picture credit score: Bonface Bogita | Nation Media Group

Simply how does Thuo juggle work, coaching and international marathons?

“An individual’s life must be holistic, and it’s composed of many components. I take a look at them [marathons] as the assorted points of wellness; bodily, mental, emotional, social, religious, vocational, monetary, and environmental. In fact, when it is a busy season of, say, work, household, coaching or because the case could also be, one or a couple of may override the others however then when that eases off, you give to the others. I’m, nonetheless, very clear. I’m the goose that lays the golden egg, and I am unable to give what I haven’t got. I fill my cup first in order that I’ve one thing to supply others. I, subsequently, come first, and all else is second. That is how I take a look at issues. Something in the way in which of that then we’ve got an issue,” he says.

So, what subsequent for Thuo after finishing the “six-star” in Tokyo?

“We are saying one end line ushers you to the beginning run of one other,” he says, “I’m additionally the type of one that believes there may be all the time one other stage. That is why even with the delayed six-star, I nonetheless saved doing rather a lot.”

His goal is to get to run in 10 Comrades Marathon editions and earn what they name a “inexperienced quantity.”

“Then who is aware of, I could shoot for 15, possibly 20. Barry Holland has run 48 of them (as of final yr). Fathom that! I flip 48 this yr. He has run 90 kilometres annually of the years I’ll have lived this yr,” Thuo says.

Then there may be the upcoming World Marathon Majors’ seventh star-eligible race in Sidney in September. Due to his velocity seeding based mostly on age, he has an computerized qualification to Sydney.

“There may be a lot to do in all spheres of life… we go to mattress drained however grateful, however get up hungry for the subsequent stage if we’re pushed and never mediocre,” he says.

To Thuo, working is certainly a metaphor for all times.

 “We draw life’s classes from working. Even with all issues aligned, you don’t all the time succeed, however the effort will not be all the time in useless. The metaphor for all times is self-discipline, consistency, focus, psychological fortitude and studying from what doesn’t work,” he says.

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