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World Record Holder Daniel Komen Spotted Running 16 Minute 5k in Michigan
May 7, 2007

Editor's Note: We received the following email on April 28, 2007 from letsrun.com message board poster Dell Todd (posts as anemic)

The Kenya Travelogue is EPIC. I have enjoyed it beyond words. It's almost better than chasingkimbia.com.   

Friday nite I boned up on chasingkimbia.com, and your Kenya travelogue pages. Good thing. Sat AM I ran a local 5k road race here in Grand Rapids, MI which is part of my training for the 25k River Run on May 12. This 5k always falls in a good place on my schedule for the 25k, so I've done a couple of them. This 5k is small time with probably not 200 people, half of the field is walking.   

While I warmed up I heard the guy on the PA say, "Daniel Komen to the starting line please Daniel Komen."   

I'm thinking, "Right, and my name Khalid Khannoucci."  Or have I been spending too much time looking at Kenyan running on letsrun & chasingkimbia?  

Well, well if it isn't Daniel Komen in the flesh with the starters pistol officiating as the honorary starter of this little 5k. WOW. Six time world record holder. Current holder of three WR's. Only runner to go sub 8 for 2 Miles. Twice.  

So bang, & we're off. I had chatted up a guy before the race and we warmed up together. Abraham turns out to be a Sudanese Lost Boy, (is everyone familiar with that incredibly sad tale of woe. In brief, Sudanese parents & daughters & boys over age 12 or so were killed by machete, so boys old enough to walk up to no older than 12 fled. They walked completely unaided 1,000 km to Ethiopia, thru the bush, not with trail racing shoes either, with no food, no water, many died & were killed by lions, that was only the beginning, and somehow many have ended up in the Grand Rapids area). So Abraham was the next finisher faster than me. Komen won in a disputed 16:01 – he thought it was sub-16 but there was no confirming it either way. The course is all paved but is deceivingly slow with a few short hills and some long false flats and exposure to wind that always seems to hurt a little. There is no cruise control on this course, so I wish I had a good benchmark for Daniel Komen's time, or my time. Is he just a 16:01 guy now, or is it about a minute slow, or who knows. Maybe Daniel Komen has a ways to go on his comeback.   

Temp was 50f and Abraham had on three jackets, tights and a hat (for the race!) and Komen wore warmup pants.   

Afterwards I hung out with Abraham & Daniel Komen, as I watched the Sawhili banter. I asked Komen about marathoning, (I have not seen his name in any results since around 2000, and never in a marathon), he said he was training for Chicago or NYCM this fall. He told me he was staying in the area for a couple weeks to promote a very worthy clean water project for Kenya (http://www.partnersworldwide.org), so he will be here for our 25k River Run (Fifth Third). Then he returns to Kenya. I asked "Iten?" He looked at me slightly wide eyed and said, "Yes! Iten! That is where I train!" Cool, I've seen pictures of your famous red track with all the world class athletes running around it. I asked him if he was familiar with chasingkimbia.com. "That is my training group!" Sure enough, http://www.kimbia.net/athletes/daniel_komen.php it's all there. He told me he has a wife & children in Eldoret. We were able to discuss the possibility of joining up with Abraham and Daniel and myself to go for a training run soon. That would be an epic follow up. I guess you just never know what might happen when you decide to go to a race.   

Anemic aka Dell Todd

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