East African countries, most notably Kenya and Ethiopia, rule today’s mid and long distance running. This new documentary, Town of Runners, shows you why that is the case, from a perspective of rather primitive Ethiopian society. But more importantly, this film exposes poor training environments in the country where a huge pool of talents are just waiting to be exploited. This film does not go into genetics, physiology, anthropology, or training methods to explain why Ethiopians are winning races, medals and recognition, so I think the general public will enjoy this film. As of this writing, Town of Runners are being shown at Tribeca Film Festival, as well as limited screening in the UK. During the Tribeca Film Festival, you can also watch this film online for free (potentially for US residents only)!
I think it’s great that the fortunate and successful runners provide excellent role models in the society and give hopes and motivation to those kids. The same goes in our society, too, but it seems to me, I could be very wrong here, that their admiration is much more performance driven, rather than driven by financial rewards or material lifestyles our super stars lead. They look up to those famous star runners and train hard to become one. Many of them are motivated, pure and hungry. They do know there are economic incentives to succeed, but I assume the motivations for such success are more along the line of that they can reward their parents or so they can train on better track, rather than they drive fast cars or live in a mansion with a pool. Unfortunately, only a selected few will achieve the status of Olympian or world record holder. Even talented ones may not succeed if they are not lucky. But the kids must be, and I hope they are, learning something invaluable during the process.
The creators of this film want to spread the word to benefit the town of Bekoji – love the name, btw – where resources to train and educate those children are very scarce. So, if you read this post or see the film, be sure to re-blog, Tweet, or Facebook it. Or, better yet, help them in their fund raising, indiegogo campaign.[schema type=”movie” url=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2108648/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1″ name=”Town of Runners” director=”Jerry Rothwell”]