I started doing some research into Sammy Wanjiru and decided to make him the subject of my most recent Squidoo lens. You can read the extensive biography I've put together, as well as give your opinion on a number of interesting debatable topics. Check out the lens here.
I've been convinced since Beijing that it's not Kenenisa Bekele or Martin Lel who will take the crown of "World's Greatest Marathoner" from Haile Gebrselassie. It will be Sammy Wanjiru who will do it. You all know about Sammy's Olympic marathon, I'm sure. But did you know...
- Sammy ran 22:40 for 8,107.5 meters on the roads in the National High School Ekiden Championships in Japan as a 17-year old!
- Sammy ran 13:12.40 for 5,000 meters as a 17-year old!
- Sammy ran a world junior record 26:41.75 for 10,000 meters as an 18-year old!
- Sammy broke the half marathon world record as an 18-year old!
- Sammy ran 2:06:39 to win his debut marathon in Fukuoka!
- Sammy's run the two fastest half marathons ever: 58:53 and 58:33!
It's simply astounding. So much of his career has been spent running for the Toyota Kyushu corporate team that we just don't see him as much as other runners. I've tried to dig up Japanese results, even through Japanese websites, and been unable to find much of substance. Yet you know he must have been running numerous races there. I'll update the lens as I find the results.
I also found an interesting interview/article with Sammy at the Daily Nation. If you feel like elite runners don't experience the same anxiety that we mortals do, you're absolutely wrong. What they are often able to do is harness that anxiety to keep it from adversely affecting their performance. Check out the article here for more.