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theohiostate
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 3:32PM - in reply to SomeActualData Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

SomeActualData wrote:

Very sad news. Here is my suggestion for a tribute (and it's only a suggestion) ...

Maybe we could do a "Run One for Sammy" Day. Maybe this coming Sunday, May 22nd. Do your run, but do at least 50 meters all-out in his memory. Hundreds of runners going all-out, even briefly, would seem to be an appropriate tribute to the man.


I went for a trail five miler earlier today, and I said out loud in the last quarter mile, "this is for you, Sammy."

I then pushed as hard as this old body can move.
theohiostate
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 3:35PM - in reply to used to be a drinker Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

used to be a drinker wrote:

Sammy Wanjiru was my favorite runner of all time. I first remember hearing about him when he ran that insane 26:41 WJR, we are the same age and that was the time I was actually starting to care about running and get into training hard and I couldn't believe someone our age could run that fast. It was incredible. I started following his career and watched with awe as he ran some of the fastest half marathons ever. I anxiously awaited his marathon debut while I trained for mine. We both debuted, his much more spectacular than mine but I was estatic to run a time good enough for the Chicago Marathon top 100 program. I watched his London battle with Lel, if you're going to lose that's not a bad guy to lose to. Then his spectucular Olympic marathon, if I ever want to be inspired I just watch that race.

Before that Olympic marathon I had actually spent the prior weekend in jail for an alcohol related offense. I remember starting to hear about Wanjiru and his drinking, his friends and it seemed to resonate with me. When I am not drinking I think I am a good person but when I drink I tend to hang out with some not so good people and do bad things that I always regret the next day. In no way am I blaming the alcohol, I am responsible for my actions as was Sammy but I could understand how it can be possible for good people to go bad espescially with alcohol in the mix.

I did ok with drinking (not getting in more legal trouble) finishing out college and ran my first Chicago marathon in 2009, the year Wanjiru set the CR. I got to start at the front because of the top 100 program and remember being within 10 feet of him at the start. I first remember thinking "Damn, he's really short in person" but then seeing how focused he looked. It was inspiring. I ran hard that day, the hardest I ever have in a marathon and collapsed at the finish. When I finally was good enough to get up and hobble around I remember asking quite a few people how Wanjiru ended up because I was thinking he would run a WR that day. Sadly it didn't happen but to hear of how fast they went out and to still run the CR was pretty awesome.

After that race my life went to shit. I started drinking heavily, pretty much every day of the week. A very low point came in the winter when my girlfriend broke up with me (completely warranted, my drinking had gotten out of control and I said and did bad things when I was drinking) and I remember her calling to tell me and I thought about jumping off my balcony. Looking back on how drunk I was combined with how upset I was I could have seen myself doing it. Ended up being in a tailspin for most of last year until a final drunken arrest and almost getting fired from my job led me to re-evaluate my life and start changing things. I had put on 40 pounds from my running weight and felt like shit pretty much all the time. I hadn't run a step in 8 months. I started running again, training for another marathon. Stopped drinking completely, no program or anything just stopped. That hurt at times, I did have an alcohol dependence problem but I got through it. I think the will power you can gain from running helped a lot. I remember watching the Chicago marathon last year, it was my 3rd week sober and I was going to do my long run after watching the race. I remember cheering for Wanjiru, thinking he would be dropped but then he responded amazingly well and the toughness he showed winning that race was unbelievable. I went out and ripped a long run that day, he inspired me.

Reading about his subsequent troubles I always hoped he would pull through and turn out better for it like I had. To hear about his death yesterday was very sad and for me it made me look back and think how lucky I was to have not died during some of my lower times. I hope he rests in peace, I will always remember him for his amazing races and how he inspired me. Looking at how healthy I am now and how much happier I am I really wish he could have found that.

RIP Sammy Wanjiru


A powerful story with an important message. Thanks for posting.
Isaac macharia
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 4:09PM - in reply to theohiostate Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I was in Vienna when my brother called me with the bad need. I didn't believe. The flight from Vienna to Nairobi seemed forever. I've now. Accept after seeing his body in mortuary. R.I.P my friend,i will miss. U,your smile. You made training feel easy. I have lost a brother,training partner,a dear friend and a comfort when I felt like quitting. Sammy,we agreed to met today but I found u gone. R.I.P
J.R.
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 4:35PM - in reply to used to be a drinker Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

used to be a drinker wrote:

Reading about his subsequent troubles I always hoped he would pull through and turn out better for it like I had. To hear about his death yesterday was very sad and for me it made me look back and think how lucky I was to have not died during some of my lower times. I hope he rests in peace, I will always remember him for his amazing races and how he inspired me. Looking at how healthy I am now and how much happier I am I really wish he could have found that.

RIP Sammy Wanjiru


Thank you for sharing your story. I've not had a drinking problem, but Sammy's troubles resonate with me, as they do with many of us. A friend in the area does have a problem with drinking, and admitted this to me a year ago. I think I could help him but feel he is not serious about wanting to change, and I've not talked with him since. I'd like to see him get it together and keep having a destructive affect on his family, but feel that what he does is none of my business. I would feel I was intruding if I tried to talk with him about it. Perhaps I could go by and say hello to him though.

Sammy's passing has affected me, and I've been quite emotional today, in tears quite a lot. I don't even know why this is. I told a friend of his passing yesterday, and burst out in tears. Maybe it has to do with Sammy having reached the pinnable in running, and yet the reality of the world, that we all have to face, struck him down.
happy feet
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 4:56PM - in reply to J.R. Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Watch the marathon live here from the states. Still one of the craziest amazing races I've ever seen. RIP Sammy
Some nerd
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 5:44PM - in reply to happy feet Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Waching him win the Beijing title was incredible. He will forever go down as a legend. Wish we could've seen him get the world record.

RIP.
Sad in Ecuador
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 5:59PM - in reply to happy feet Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
It is sad and shocking news to find out that Sammy Wanjiru has passed away.

Others have mentioned his amazing Olympic 2008 marathon and his gutsy Chicago 2010 marathon, as well as that 26:41 WJR for 10,000 meters (can you imagine having a freshman on your college team run a time like that?!!) I would have to also include his London 2009 win among the gutsy marathons he ran: to go out in a crazy 1:01:36 and still hang on (while slowly dying) to break the London Marathon course record in 2:05:10 also speaks much of his fortitude. The guy was fearless.

For me, Sammy Wanjiru REALLY got my attention a few weeks after his WJR for 10,000 in 2005 when he broke Paul Tergat's 1/2 marathon WR by one second at Rotterdam with his 59:16. "59:16 - by an 18 year old???!!!" I thought. "A guy who could be a college freshman ran the fastest half-marathon in history?!" When he followed that up with a 58:53 and then a 58:33 in 2007, I was wowed. "22 seconds faster than Gebrselassie's WR...at only 20 years of age!!"

Like Daniel Komen, Sammy Wanjiru had an amazing talent that produced eye-popping results in a career that turned out to be all too brief. Like Prefontaine, Sammy leaves the running world with many questions of "What if..."

Very, very sad news indeed for all of us in the running community...and for his wife and two young children.

R.I.P. Sammy Wanjiru
Scott B.
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 6:41PM - in reply to Some nerd Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
He was able to outrun the entire world, but in the end he couldn't outrun his own demons. I pray that he finds a tranquility in death that he was unable to find in his brief life.
MarathonMind
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 6:45PM - in reply to Some nerd Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
David Bedford said Wanjiru "was in my opinion the best marathon runner ever."

I agree. Beijing was a performance like no other.

RIP
NativeSon
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 7:21PM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

wejo wrote:

It is with a sad heart that I report that 24 year old Sammy Wanjiru, the 2008 Olympic Champion, and in LetsRun.com's opinion the greatest marathoner to ever live, has died in Kenya.

Shadrack Biwott, the former University of Oregon runner and brother of Kenyan marathon star, Duncan Kibet, called us with the news of Wanjiru's tragic death and another Kenyan American who wished to be anonymous called as well with the news.

I'm sure there will be a lot of speculation and news surrounding the cause of death. There can be other threads for that. The sport of running lost one of its best way too young today and this thread is meant to be where you can pay your respects to Sammy.

RIP Sammy.




THanks Wejo for starting this thread.

I've been devastated the whole day.

Although I have never met Wanjiru, and I always hoped that I'd bump into him in Nyahururu town, I feel like he is a guy I know.

His is a life cut short. Very very sad indeed!

I still haven't come to terms with it.

RIP my brother.
Albert W
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 7:25PM - in reply to MarathonMind Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Dammit, this is so sad,

RIP Sammy
Boner
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 8:17PM - in reply to Albert W Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Really, truly sucks.

Sammy was a one of a kind talent who brought so much grit,toughness and passion to the sport. I thoroughly looked forward to and enjoyed watching him race. Sammy, you were an incredible athlete and the global running community has suffered the loss of a very unique and special talent. May you R.I.P!
Daniel Komen
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 8:21PM - in reply to Sad in Ecuador Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Very, very sad indeed that the great Sammy Wanjiru, the greatest marathon ever is nolonger with us! I was busy this past weekend and the whole of today and only managed to get online at 8:30pm. And the first web page of course was letsrun.com. What I saw on the front page almost stopped my heart! I lost all energy and was unable to do anything at all for half an hour except to stare at the computer screen! I loved Wanjiru, almost like my own brother. Even though I never met him personally, he was like my best buddy just like Paul Tergat. I guess it is because of my great love for the sport he dominated with an aggression of a wounded lion. Wanjiru like a lion was indeed fearless. Since his emergence into the international scene in 2004 until his last race, Chicago 2010 marathon, he left his fans satisfied and in anticipation of the next date the lion toes the line again! In him, we have learned that no competitor is unbeatable. The only thing we will never know of course is whether Wanjiru would have broken 2:02 in the marathon. For now, we salute you Mr. Wanjiru! You left untimely and we will never know why. Rest in peace brother! And hopefully we can continue where you left.
come on
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 9:40PM - in reply to Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I agree, why this huge tribute thread? I guess a lot of people care more about how fast a person can run rather than the type of life a person leads??
I Am Fleetfoot
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 10:01PM - in reply to come on Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

come on wrote:

I agree, why this huge tribute thread? I guess a lot of people care more about how fast a person can run rather than the type of life a person leads??


Careful how you judge brother, consider some of your own inequities. I hate alchohol, I wish I could take back all the evil I have done under it's influence. Surely I know that does not discount ones own self discipline and will. Remember though he was only 24, with all his success and wealth, he was still a "kid" a mighty one no doubt; but still prey to the influences of success.
I hoped for a sick April fools in May; this is a truely sad day !@
common letsrun sense
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 10:06PM - in reply to come on Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Well, maybe that's because, oh I don't know, IT'S A RUNNING SITE and people here tend to follow these people due to their running achievements and abilities.

This is not a personal loss to most people here and it may indeed not be a huge loss to humanity, but it's most certainly a loss to the sport of running. That's the loss people are mourning and it's legitimate. If you don't want to participate in that, fine, but posting all this hateful bullshit on a tribute thread makes you a despicable ass. Live with that.
freak.of.the.run
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 10:19PM - in reply to Boner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The 08 Olympic Trials was the first major meet I cared about and watched as a true track fan, and that put me in awe. So, the first marathon I cared about featured Ryan Hall and Wanjiru at the Olympics. The entire pre-race the announcers were saying that it was not going to be a fast race, but that is what Sammy made it, from the gun. Hall wrote that he had to make a decision as soon as the first 100 yards, and Wanjiru's guts had already overwhelmed the minds of most of the field. Seeing him run through Beijing was incredible and it truly drew me into not only track but an avid fan of the marathon.
As I thought about it, Wanjiru was Pre. So Wanjiru won and Pre was fourth, and Wanjiru was Kenyan, and Pre was American, but they exemplified the same qualities that every runner needs to live with and race every race with. They were not afraid to take the lead and force the pace all the way. They were both at the Olympics at age 21, died at age 24, with drinking problems but leaving the world wondering, what could have been, what should have been, and what could have happened with their, to quote David Bedford in Fire On The Track, "so much unfulfilled talent."
Rest In Peace Steve.
Rest In Peace Sammy.
You will be missed.
some random poster
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/16/2011 10:27PM - in reply to common letsrun sense Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Well said.
Mr. Spock
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/17/2011 6:46AM - in reply to some random poster Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
did
RE: Tragic News: Sammy Wanjiru Is Dead 5/17/2011 7:36AM - in reply to Mr. Spock Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
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