By Njoki Githinji
A huge rectangular arch at Kerio Valley View point along Eldoret-Iten road welcomes you to Iten, “The Home of champions.” For the longest time Iten has produced an endless list of renowned world athletics champions, a fact that has made many people believe that the weather has something to do with their good performance.
In 2019, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) honored Iten as a global heritage location. IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe handed the town the IAAF Heritage Plaque, which celebrates locations important to global athletics history.
At 2,400M above sea level, Iten is cold, but it seems to be the perfect weather for tens of local and foreign athletes who can be seen jogging along the roads.
The St Patrick’s Complex on O’Connell Street is one of the oldest establishments in Iten. It hosts St Patrick’s High school, St Patrick’s Catholic parish, and St Patrick’s Iten Athletics Youth program.
Bro Colm O’Connell, a missionary of the Order of St Patrick’s runs the St Patrick’s Iten Athletics Youth program that has trained notable athletes including David Rudisha, Mary Keitany,