On Thursday, August 5th we hosted 2010 Honda LA Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat at Dodger Stadium, where she threw out the first pitch against the San Diego Padres. Edna was joined by her husband Gilbert Koech, himself a 2:13 marathoner. Edna has been traveling the US all summer from her home base in Boulder, Colorado. She’s compiling an enviable record in some of the most prestigious road races in the country, including 3rd place finishes in both the Peachtree Classic and the Falmouth Road Race. We were excited that she could fit a visit to LA into this busy schedule.
While she was here, we set her and Gilbert up on a training run with local athlete Karla Alburez. As was the case for Wesley Korir’s visit in June, we had to find someone who could keep up with Edna, which is no small feat. Thanks to Karla for taking Edna and Gilbert on a morning run in Griffith Park. Edna really enjoyed getting to know a local runner during a low-key training session.
Edna and Gilbert spent time describing to me their home and farm in Iten, Kenya. They met as high school runners from rival schools, and they have two children. Their house is high on a hill with beautiful views of the Rift Valley. The two of them share the dream of opening a running lodge on their property. I can only imagine how great that would be. Based on their warm personalities, it would surely be a popular destination.
I was of course worried when it came to game time: Would Edna, a Kenyan with no background throwing a baseball, even get her throw to the plate? We aired a congratulatory video on the big screen for her, and she strode confidently out to the mound. Without hesitating, she ripped a strike right down the middle! Counting Wesley Korir before her, the Kenyans are now two-for-two throwing fastballs in Dodger Stadium. I suppose if you’re a great athlete in one sport, your gifts can translate to other sports. Who knew? It was an exciting night for both Edna and her husband, and we hope to see her back next year at the 2011 Honda LA Marathon presented by K-Swiss.