The Annex track is one of the most famous ones around Eldoret. It belongs to the Moi University and it’s also known as “School of Law”. Access to this track has been free for many years, but restrictions have taken place recently. Or, better said, it’s necessary to have special permission to enter. A permission that is generally granted if asked in advance.
The biggest advantage of this track, if we don’t mention the perfect location close to Eldoret town, is that the soil used is of great quality. If it rains very heavy, it will get muddy like many other tracks. But if the rains aren’t heavy, the soil will stay good enough for running.
For those who use the track very early in the morning (something very common among the marathoners) the sun rises from behind the opposite side of the finish line. The athletes project long and slim shades and the cameras can capture hypnotic efforts. If you have seen videos of the NN Running Team or the documentary of Eliud Kipchoge “The last milestone”, for example, you can see that most of the speedwork sessions have happened there.
The track is enclosing a football field and next to a rugby one. There are also volleyball pitches but, in general, only the track is used in a daily base. The toilets (latrines) are close by but need bravery to be used. And a small shade works as changing room or sun protection if the training becomes long (for the coaches or fans).
Some years ago, a French coach bought a big house less than a kilometer from the track and converted it into a guest house for runners. He named it as “Champions Guest House” but I am not sure if it’s still in use nowadays. So far, since the track is very close to Eldoret, it’s easy to find a convenient accommodation for any kind of budget.
Tuesdays are the most common days to do speedwork sessions in Kenya. It’s very easy to see dozens of runners move to the track while jogging. Others, those who live further, reach the Annex track by car and park in front of the library.
I have been part of both groups. When I was living in Kapsoya, I used to jog until the track. Now, since I live a bit furthers, I go by car.
The Annex track has seen me doing many speedwork sessions. Since the 10×400 of a competition week until the never-ending marathon sessions like 10×1600. I am not able to find the information to confirm that it’s the track where I have done more laps since I came to Kenya, but I would bet it is. Then, another day, I will talk about the Chepkoilel track, which counts for many kilometers as well.
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