10th January 2011
Uka Altitude Camp, Kenya
10 January 2010
Athletes invited onto the Aviva and London Marathon funded UKA Altitude camp in Iten, Kenya will make their pilgrimage to the home of endurance running today, 10 January.
Track athletes from 800m up to Marathon and cross country specialists alike, from will train on the paths and trails around Iten, above the Rift Valley, 2400m above sea level.
A training base for Double European Champion Mo Farah, the benefits of training in Kenya have been clear for all to see, his most recent return from altitude prompted a promising New Years Eve outing in Italy and BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country win.
With a hectic and varied winter fixture calendar still in progress -including three Aviva Series UK events, World Cross Country Championships and European Indoor Championships- those returning to sea level to compete this winter will be well prepared following their exposure to an ‘eat, sleep, drink running’ lifestyle in Kenya.
Amongst the group 1500m rivals Hannah England, Steph Twell and Charlene Thomas will use the heights to prepare for the tough year ahead as domestic opposition in their event grows ever stronger.
800m athlete Marilyn Okoro is determined to get back to form following a difficult season in 2010. Revisiting the camp for the second time in the past six months, Okoro will use the altitude and world class support from the UKA Endurance Team to better her aerobic capacity and endurance and return to the track fitter than ever for 2011.
1500m specialists James Brewer and Colin McCourt, who are coached by former 800m Olympian Craig Winrow, will spend time at the camp along with Hatti Dean, who impressed at the European Championships over 3000m steeple chase, finishing fourth against a tough international field.
Cross Country regulars James Wilkinson and Ricky Stevenson also take the trip to Africa ahead of the World Cross Country Championships which will take place in Spain in March. Stevenson will look to continue his progression following a ninth place finish at the equivalent European race in Portugal in December.
Having spent time at the Aviva funded UKA Altitude Camp in Font Romeu before his marathon outing in Barcelona at the European Championships in the summer, Lee Merrien returns to the mountains to prepare his body for the next 26 mile outing.