Born to Run
SEAN P. FLYNN, For the Herald-Journal
Published November 9, 2006
Henry Wanyoike has the scars all over his hands to prove the number of times he's fallen on the race course.
They are a sign of the obstacles he has had to overcome to become one of the world's best blind runners.
fell many, many times," Wanyoike said Wednesday at the South Carolina
School for the Deaf and Blind, where he spoke to many of the school's
70 blind students and met the national championship goalball team. "But
I never stopped. I continued running."
years after a stroke stripped him of his vision, the 32-year-old
Wanyoike is arguably the world's best visually impaired runner. He owns
the world record among blind runners in the marathon (2 hours, 31
minutes, 31 seconds, at the 2005 Hamburg Marathon), and he has even
been the overall winner in several major races, including the Singapore
Half-Marathon last December and the Wetzlar Half-Marathon in Sept. 2005.
the help of his childhood friend Joseph Kibunja, who is his guide
runner for all of his races, Wanyoike finished last Sunday's New York
Marathon in 2:40:14 -- 133rd overall and more than 19 minutes ahead of
famed cyclist Lance Armstrong.
he is not racing or training, he works for several charities, including
Christian Blind Mission International, whose American offices are based
in Greenville. CBMI helped Wanyoike when he went blind, and the group
helped him back into running.
CMBI and the Walker Foundation, the private funding arm for SCSDB, brought Wanyoike to speak at the school.
is someone who has a disability, but he's also a winner" said Heather
Patchett, the Walker Foundation's executive director. "That's what I
want our kids to know about."
grew up in Kenya and dreamed of becoming a champion runner, but in 1995
he woke up one morning about 95 percent blind. A stroke had ruined his
optic nerves and within a few years he would be completely blind.
gave up running and became depressed, worried that he would end up on
the streets, as is the case for many disabled people in Kenya. But one
of CMBI's doctors suggested he could indeed run again, with the help of
a guide, and in 1999 he started training again.
2000, he won the 5,000-meter race at the Sydney Paralympics. He
enlisted Kibunja to help him in 2002, and by 2004 he was among the
world's elite runners.
"When I lost my
sight, I was worried, I was frustrated, I was depressed," Wanyoike
said. "But after meeting people with CBMI in Kenya … (I found out)
there was something I could do, a rehabilitation center. I saw other
people could make it, so I said, 'What about myself?'"
Campbell, an SCSDB senior and the MVP of the national goal-ball
championships, said that meeting someone as successful as Wanyoike
meant a lot.
"I've never really seen
anyone who's blind who has done as much as he's done and been as far as
he's been," Campbell said. "I hope to do the same thing in goal ball,
and make it to the Paralympics in China in 2008."
Henry Wanyoike honored by the United Nation
He will be the star attraction at Nairobi marathon
athlete Henry Wanyoike, honoured by the United Nations as a role model,
is expected to be the star attraction during the Standard Chartered
Nairobi Marathon on Sunday.
Wanyoike said he was running for a top 10 position in his bid to raise money for the Kikuyu Christian Blind Mission Hospital.
The number of registered runners has swelled to 5,000 with four days to go.
are hoping to to attract over 15,000 runners including over 150 from 32
countries vying for points in the Greatest Race on Earth series.
Help Henry Run
Sponsor: Christian Blind Mission International
Meet Henry Wanyoike. His story begins in Kenya – where he was being
groomed to join an elite team of runners. But in 1995, he had a stroke
that left him blind.
than surrendering to his condition, Henry entered a program for the
blind, supported by Christian Blind Mission International (CBMI). There
he received enough support and training to help him become
self-sufficient, without his sight.
more, Henry began to run again. With the help of a guide runner, he
quickly established himself as a world-class non-sighted runner,
earning a spot on the Kenyan national squad in the 2000 Sydney
Now Henry is running again -
this time to raise awareness and support for a cause dear to his heart
– the Christian Blind Mission International's (CBMI) 100,000 Miracles
The 100,000 Miracles Campaign
seeks to help the 17 million people who are blind because of cataracts.
Eighty-five percent of these people live with blindness because they
can't afford the simple operation to help them see again. CBMI's goal
is to see 100,000 cataract surgeries performed in 100 days.
can help Henry set a new world record for visually impaired runners and
raise awareness about CBMI's 100,000 Miracles campaign.
below with a message of your choice to support Henry in this courageous
effort! Your name and comment will be delivered directly to Henry
More about this petition »
FAMOUS BLIND GERMAN SINGER JOANA ZIMMER WILL STAGE CHARITY CONCERT AT SAROVA WHITESANDS HOTEL MOMBASA
- - Joana Zimmer, the famous blind German singer will be visiting
various programmes for disabled people in Kenya from 10th to 18th of
September and will stage a charity concert in Mombasa.
This will be her first official tour as a "Good will ambassador" for the "Christian Blind Mission".
She stated "It is my desire to support the objectives of this organisation as a Good Will ambassador".
22-year old blind singer who impresses with her captivating voice is
aware that there are many blind people who need support.
I understand the challenges blind people face, it is my desire to
partner with the mission and I am really looking forward to visit the
projects in Kenya".
The focus of her tour will be Mombasa and Kikuyu.
At the Coast she will be visiting the Bombolulu workshops and the children Rehabilitation Clinic at Port Reitz.
from the workshops where disabled people produce unique crafts she will
also visit blind people who run their own business. Joana Zimmer will
stage a charity concert at the Whitesands Hotel on Wednesday 13th
September in conjunction with the Bombolulu cultural and fashion show.
Proceeds will go towards surgery of disabled children.
Kikuyu near Nairobi Joana Zimmer will meet another "Good Will
ambassador" of the Mission, Henry Wanyoike, the worlds fastest blind
The "Christian Blind Mission" supports the Kikuyu Eye Hospital and a programme for children and youth with low vision.
Henry Wanyoike became blind in 1995 at the age of 21 and was rehabilitated by the Kikuyu Eye hospital.
He has meanwhile initiated three own programmes and reciprocates for the assistance he received.
Zimmer and Henry Wanyoike met during a Triathlon in Germany this year
and they both intend to practise together during this visit.
for the charity concert at Whitesands Hotel are available at Kshs.
3,000 incl. dinner or at Kshs. 2,000 for the concert only at Bombolulu
Workshops, Whitesands Hotel and other hotels and shops.
Henry over 10.000m and 5.000m only second in Assen
Kenya won two medals as International Paralympics Committee World athletics Championships opened in Assen, Netherlands.
Francis Thuo won the first gold medal in the 10,000m and the second over 5.000m.
Thuo pulled a major upset against Kenyan top blind runner, Henry Wanyoike, in the visually impaired category T11.
the defending champion and world record holder over both distances,
broke away from the pack and led Thuo in lapping the other participants.
"I am very happy for my brother Thuo. I think it is time for others to take over the reigns," said Wanyoike.
However, the humbled Wanyoike vowed to be back with a bang in the 2008 Bejing Paralympic Games.
Paralympians all set for Dutch fair
Story by CHRIS MUSUMBA
Publication Date: 8/26/2006
will send a squad of 21 athletes to this year's International
Paralympics Committee (IPC), World athletics Championships in Assen,
Netherlands from September 2-10.
Minister Maina Kamanda yesterday handed over the Kenyan flag to the
team, which also has double world 5,000m and 10,000m champion Henry
Wanyoike at Moi International Sports Centre (MISC) Kasarani.
challenged the team to equal or improve on their performance at the
Athens Paralympics where they won seven gold medals. The team which has
been training at Kasarani is expected to jet out on Monday aboard a
Kenya Airways flight to Amsterdam.
Sidialo, who will be heading the Kenyan contingent said the task ahead
was enormous and they would do their best. He offered his gratitude to
the government for its support in promoting sports for the disabled.
Kamanda said his ministry had spent Sh4.4 million to buy the team air
||Wanyoike named for Laureus award
By Chris Mbaisi
Henry Wanyoike has been nominated again for the 2006 Laureus World Sports Awards scheduled for May 22 in Barcelona, Spain.
who is also the world paralympic 10,000m and 5,000m champion, will
feature in the World Sportsperson with a Disability of the Year
to the organisers, the winners of the seventh Laureus World Sports
Awards as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, will be unveiled
during a televised ceremony on May 22.
World Sports Academy is part of the Laureus World Sports Awards, whose
aim is to recognise outstanding performance by sportsmen and women of
different origins in the world.
ceremony will feature world sportsman/woman of the year, world team of
the year, world comeback of the year, world newcomer of the year, world
sportsperson with disability and world alternative sportsperson of the
Henry Wanyoike is the current
world 5,000m and 10,000m record for the blind. He runs with Joseph
Kibunja, who is his guide. Wanyoike, who became blind at 19, has won
two paralympic gold medals.
6th World Conference on Sport and Environment: Tree Planting
battery of current and former sports stars are expected to congregate
in Nairobi over the next few days for the sixth International Olympic
Committee World Conference on Sport and Environment.
three-day conference begins at 4 pm today at the headquarters of the
United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) in Gigiri, Nairobi, and
will be officially opened by President Mwai Kibaki, organisers said
World 5,000m and 10,000m
record holder and four-time World Cross Country double champion
Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia and Morocco's 1,500m world record holder
and Olympic 1,500m and 5,000m champion Hicham El Guerrouj are amongst
the star-studded list of VIP athletes.
are joined by former Africa Footballer of the Year Roger Milla, easily
remembered for his 1990 World Cup exploits with Cameroon, and former
Olympic sprints great Frankie Fredericks of Namibia.
Athens Olympics 10,000 and 5,000 metres gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba
is also on the roster. Fredericks arrived yesterday while Bekele and
Dibaba are due in today.
conference has been organised by the IOC in partnership with Unep to
analyse progress made in sport and environment. Participants drawn from
all over the world will discuss ideas on how sports can be used to aid
The conference is
expected to outline priority issues on sport and environment over the
next two years. The Nairobi edition follows a similar one held in
Turin, Italy, in December 2003.
will be made by Environment Minister Kalonzo Musyoka, Nobel laureate
Wangari Maathai and Sports Minister Achillo Ayacko.
speakers at the conference are Unep executive director Klaus Toepfer,
IOC vice-president Gunilla Lindberg and the chairman of the IOC Sport
and Environment Commission, Pal Schmitt.
athletes will also engage in the "Relay for Life" run on Saturday
starting in Kibera and ending at Sadili Oval Sports Club in Langata.
athletes at the conference will include Susan Chepkemei, who finished
second in last weekend's New York Marathon, Isabella Ochichi, Henry
Wanyoike, Tegla Loroupe, Richard Limo, Ezekiel Kemboi, Eliud Kipchoge
and Wilfred Bungei. Others are John Kibowen, Brimin Kipruto, Margaret
Okayo and Charles Kamathi.
Henry Wanyoike raised money in Mumbai
Wanyoike ran his first marathon in Mumbai on Jan. 15th and helped raise
US$42,000 towards charity in Mumbai. He finished in 2:52 because of the
of the prevailing weather conditions. Henry: "It was the hardest run I
ever done, because it was hot, very humid and much polution in the air"
As the Goodwill ambassador for the
Seeing is Believing section in the Standard Chartered races, Wanyoike
said they have already assisted 600 people regain sight and they are
targeting 1 million by next year.
Henry Wanyoike and Joseph Kibunja wins the halfmarathon in Singapore
Bangkok/Racing towards VICTORY
World track champion and Olympic gold medallist Henry Wanyoike and his
childhood friend and fellow runner Josef Kibunja pose with Thai runners
and sports officials during their visit to Bangkok recently. Blind
marathon runner Henry Wanyoike from Kenya may have lost his sight, but
his vision remains strong... read more
Palma de Mallorca
Sunday the island capital provided the perfect backdrop for the second
running of the “world’s most beautiful island marathon”. 2,951 runners
from more than 30 countries went to the start, 1,129 for the marathon
and around 1,510 for the half-marathon.
9.30 hrs Dr. Michael Frenzel fired the starting gun for a run under
ideal climatic conditions: 19 degrees, slightly cloudy. The Executive
Board Chairman of TUI AG was impressed by the enthusiasm displayed by
the runners and the spectators along the route: “The distinct increase
in the number of participants and the enthusiasm of the runners shows
we are on the right course with the TUI Marathon. Our aim is to
establish the marathon over the next few years as a major event in the
international running calendar and also to offer further attractive
sports events to all of Majorca’s visitors in the coming years.”
Majorcan wins the marathon
Vicente Ogazón Mari from El Arenal was the first to cross the finishing
line in a time of 2:36:24, followed by Marc Jörgens from Wermelskirchen
/ Germany (2:39:12) and another Majorcan, Juan Rodriguez Fernandez
(2:41:15) from Palma.
first three runners to cross the line in the women’s competition were
from Germany. Susanne Zettel from Forchheim achieved the best result,
with a time of 3:02:05. Second home was Sibylle Stäbler from
Echterdingen. Her time: 3:14:27. Third place was taken by Katrin
Vogler, also from Echterdingen, in a time of 3:15:54.
The blind marathon runner Henry Wanyoike, gold medal winner at the
Paralympics, was guided to the finish by German runner Hannes Schmidt
after his coach had had to drop out of the race. A sensation was
created by the “King of Majorca”, hit singer Jürgen Drews, who
completed the full course in 5:09:54, receiving a rapturous reception
from his fans on the Playa de Palma. And Antonia from Tirol was also
present at the sporting autumn highlight on the Balearic island.
The start and finish of the marathon were located in the harbour area
below La Seu Cathedral, the symbol of Palma city. After the first third
of the course along the harbour the participants enjoyed a panoramic
run through the narrow streets of the historic old city with all its
interesting sights. The marathon route went as far as Balneario 6 and
from there back to the centre of Palma city, following a course along
the seafront. Majorcan bands and music groups from the Caribbean and
Kenya encouraged the runners along the route and entertained the
spectators. In the finish area visitors and residents of Palma city
jointly celebrated a Spanish party organised by TUI to round things
off, with lots of Spanish music, children’s entertainment and walking
3rd International TUI Marathon Palma de Mallorca
Following the success of the event this year, TUI has already fixed the
date for the third marathon on the Balearic island: The 3rd
International TUI Marathon Palma de Mallorca will take place on 22
No disappointment after not getting the Laureusaward.
this time did not get the Laureus however Henry and Joseph had a few
beautiful days in Estoril. Henry enjoyed the contact with many
prominents. He made the night of the award the day: He sang and danced
with the other guests in the early morning. He hopes for the next year
in Berlin. After his successes in London, Hamburg and Hanover the
chances for renewed nominating are very good.
Sensationally third place in the halfmarathon
the Spielbankenmarathon in Hanover Henry started in the halfmarathon
with approx. 4,500 participants. Henry became third with a time of
1:11:26. He stayed thereby only approx. 1 minute behind its own world
The miracle of London and Hamburg
April, 17th Henry Wanyoike started in London. It should be the
preparation to Hamburg Marathon. After the planned halfmarathondistance
Henry and Joseph decided to go through, because both were in a good
condition. They endet the Marathon with world record time (2:32:51). To
sceptical questions in Hamburg, where the world record attempt should
take place as agreed, Henry answered: "London was only training for the
world record attempt and we aims at a time around 2:30:00." In Hamburg
both put a time of 2:31:31 down. Thus they were star in Hamburg. Over
the Marathondistanz probably still no world record was improved within
8 days two times by a runner.
April, 19th2005 the friendshipclub "henry4gold" was foundet
nominated for the
Start in Hamburg and Hanover
sports star: Henry Wanyoike is one of the very special participants in
this years Olympus Marathon Hamburg (April 24) and Spielbanken-Marathon
in Hannover (May 8).
blind Kenyan runner already set a world record in Athens in the 5,000
and 10,000 meters, and now will challenge the full marathon in Hamburg
and the half marathon in Hannover. In May 2004 Wanyoike set a world
record for visually challenged in Boston with a time of 2:33:20- an
accomplishment worthy of a fame not only in the light athletics. He
holds the half-marathon world record since Hong Kong 2004.
||Henry and his guide Joseph are excited about their nomination for the Laureus-Award
Wanyoike was not only nominated as candidate for world athlete in
Portugal on May 16 due to his physical achievements, but also for what
his name stands for. He is conected with various charity organizations
including the Christoffel Blindenmission, Bensheim, and „Light for the
World.“ Wanyoike travels in various countries and „runs in“ donations.
The humble, joyfull man and athlete from Kenya wants to give those who
are handicapped courage, „my determination and love for my family gave
me the power to achieve something out-of-the-ordinary.“ Wanyoikes
participation in the marathon weekend in Hamburg is more than just an
||training for the new world record takes him through the wildlife
Henry is 34th of more than 6000 participants after 42,195 km
Wanyoike (right) and Joseph Kibunya arrive at the finish-line at the
Hongkong marathon on February 27. Together they „ran-in“ 80,000 euro
for the fund "Seeing is Believing" in 4 Marathon-Events of the Standard
The Standard Chartered Bank donated $1000 for every
kilometer Wanyoike ran to help visually challenged worldwide. His time
in Hongkong of 2:34:21 was barely above that of his world record time
Henry 15th among all participants in India!
is back in Kenya. The short trip to India was very successful for
Henry. It improved the time of the Singapore halfmarathon by 4 minutes.
He finisht as 15th among all participants with the time of 1 hour and
Kenya: Vice-president honours Athlets
Kenyan vice-president Moody Awori honoured athlets from his country,
which furnished special achievements in this year. Under the
distinguishing among other things obstacle olympia winners were Ezekiel
Kemboi and also the double paralympics winner Henry Wanyoike.
Moody Awori congratulates Henry to great successes. As acknowledgment
Henry for each of the two gold medals received a LCD television.
HENRY WANYOIKE started on 5 December with the Singapore half Marathon
Henry occupied sensational 4. Place
Josef Kibunja and Henry Wanyoike
Singapore half Marathon over 21 km participated over 2000 runners from
all world. Henry Wanyoike occupied among the seeing athlets sensational
4. Place and came only 5 minutes after the winner Noce Matital from
Indonesia into the goal. Athens 2004Henry`s guide Josef Kibunja is led in the result list as the 5. with the same time (1:16:53).