If you are a lover of elite running, then you should know a thing or two about Kenyan runners. But you probably don’t know about Iten, the oven that bakes almost each one of them. Iten is the largest town in Elgeyo- Marakwet County, Kenya. It is located along the Elgeyo escarpment. The area has an altitude of 2400 m / 7900 ft. above sea level, suitable for high altitude training (HAT).
Many Kenyan athletes who smash world records train here. You don’t need to book for trainers or be a member of any training camp to run in Iten. If you like training early in the morning, you will easily find other runners training in those early hours, and you can be assured of safety. You will never get lost, as the people around the neighbourhood are very friendly to foreigners and they will gladly give you directions.
The area is very accessible, and it has excellent roads. To get to Iten from the capital Nairobi, you can book a flight through the local airlines. The flight will take around 45 minutes to Eldoret. From Eldoret, you can take a taxi that will take you to Iten town. You can also decide to have some adventure and use public transportation locally known as ‘Matatus’ and interact with the amiable locals.
Accommodation and Training Camps
In Iten, there are several hotels and a restaurant with excellent accommodation. You can also choose to stay at any of the training camps that host and accommodate foreign athletes in Iten. Some centres have clinics for physiotherapy, sports massage and sauna services. They will also provide trainers with coaches who offer all levels of fitness and experience. The coaches will give you advice and create a schedule, depending on your needs.
Iten is full of places for anyone who loves nature. Besides sports training, there are several other activities you can enjoy while in Iten. For example, you can decide to explore the caves, escarpments, waterfalls gorges, and even watching the wildlife.