John is 36 years old and works as a houseboy at the Thompsons falls lodge, Nyahururu, Kenya.
He lights fires for visiting tourists and does odd jobs to survive.John works 16 hours a day,seven days a week-often sleeping at his workplace and not seeing his own wife and children for many days at a time. John earns the equivalent of $60 a month and in conjunction with a small amount of crop growing is able to keep his family(including his mother) housed and fed.
John’s family was abandoned by his father at a young age and Johns mother was left to raise John and his 9 siblings.The family struggled for many years to find food and gain a basic education in the poverty stricken slum where they lived.John has long had a dream (like many Kenyans) of being a runner.John has held that dream and trains vigorously in the few hours each day that he isnt working,covering up to 30kms most days. The altitude is 7300 feet above sea level and is used as the training ground for many of the worlds top runners.Johns childhood friend and inspiration,Sam Wanjiru, is the current world record holder for the half marathon and winner of the Bejing Olympics Marathon Gold Medal.
In 2008 a visiting team from African equity (Australia)met John in Nyahururu ,Kenya.
Johns pursuit of the dream, his character and faith inspired one of the visitors to sponsor John and fufill his dream of running in an international event.In conjunction with the Sunday Mail,John (who has never seen the ocean) arrive in Australia on August 15th to compete in both the Bridge to Brisbane and Sydney Half marathon events.
Whilst organizing Johns visit it became apparent that Johns dream was closer than anybody realised.In a time trial John ran only 4 minutes outside the current world record time for the half marathon.Not bad for a part time jogger that was running in a pair of cross trainers(3 sizes too big) left behind by an overseas visitor.
If you would like to sponsor John or even offer encouragement please call/email or deposit funds to the African Equity account. www.african-equity.com