If you have read my book, Running with the Kenyans, then you will know about Japhet. A poor boy from rural Kenya whose mother died when he was still a baby, Japhet has dedicated himself to running. He lives in a small shack in the town of Iten and is supported to buy enough food to live by his uncle who works at the local petrol station. Yet every morning Japhet is up at 5.30am and is out running. And boy is he fast. His PBs (personal best times) are 2hrs 21mins for the marathon, and 66mins for the half marathon - run at high altitude in Nairobi.
These times would make him an international athlete in almost any other country in the world, but in Kenya he remains an also-ran. One of many, many talented runners - yet only a very few get the chance to prove themselves in a race abroad.
Japhet was a good friend to me when I was in Kenya. He never once asked for money, even though he had so little, but I promised him I& 39;d do what I could to get him a race abroad, to give him his chance to shine.
The organisers of the Edinburgh marathon on May 26th have offered Japhet a place in the elite field - a chance to run and win. But we need to raise the money to get him from Kenya, get him a visa, keep him fed and housed, and to get him some decent kit to run in. If you followed Japhet& 39;s story in Running with the Kenyans, or you just feel moved to help, every little bit will be welcomed and together we can help at least one of those amazing Kenyans realise their dream.
How the money will be spent
Here& 39;s a rough breakdown of why we need £1,500 to get Japhet to the startline.
Transport from Iten to Edinburgh: £800
Visa and other admin costs: £300
Food and accomodation in UK: £200
Running kit and gels: £100
Other misc costs: £100