A childhood in Kenya sets the stage to train champions for global marathon. I am Peter Muinde. My childhood memories revolve around running to school, running for errands, running to fetch water and running wild and free during playtime in our village in Kenya. As I grew up I realised that my love for long distance marathons was my true calling in life. Running marathons was my passion and I built my entire life around becoming an ace marathoner – like eating the right food, running at least 10 kilometres every day and preparing my body for the endurance sport that marathon is.
Unequivocally Kenya is a breeding ground for marathoners, however not many have made successful careers out of marathons in Kenya. Ten years ago I moved to UAE to fulfil my dream of becoming a professional marathoner. I wanted a work visa to come to Dubai so that I could participate in more marathons.
In the last 10 years that I have lived in the UAE I must have participated in at least 100 marathons. I work night shifts as a Security and Safety Supervisor at a Facilities Management firm. During the day I am busy practicing for upcoming marathons, coaching my team and handling administration work related to marathons. My favourite memory as a marathoner is my first marathon in Dubai. I had no running shoes with me nor did I have the money to buy new ones. It was a working day for me so I requested my manager to give me the day off but he simply refused. I had made up my mind to participate no matter what. So I slipped into my jersey, borrowed running shoes from an acquaintance in the accommodation, informed my manager about my absence from work and headed out to run the acclaimed Standard Chartered marathon. When I finished at the 17th spot among 2000 participants, my manager was informed about my achievement and he appreciated my effort by paying me four months of salary in advance. My company also agreed to sponsor my sports gear for all my future marathons and asked me to train a team of marathoners within the organization.
Over the last 10 years, UAE has opened up new avenues in sports for me. Besides participating in marathons, I train corporates and people from different nationalities for half and full marathons held in the UAE. My USP lies in my physical strength, speed and stamina which have also helped me develop myself physically to play rugby every Friday. The rugby team comprises Europeans, Indians and Emirati nationals who meet to play a match on Friday evenings. On the day of my weekly off I make it a point to practice for marathons in the morning and polish my rugby skills in the evenings. In a bid to give back and to channelize the energy of young boys in my village, I have formed a local rugby team in Kenya. They are regularly trained by a professional coach. Every year when I go on vacation I organise a rugby match for the local boys where they don full sporting gear and play a scintillating match.
My love for marathons has added a new dimension to my life – my love for fitness. I have guided local Emirati families and people struggling in their weight loss journey. Today fitness is my passion and priority. Besides my full time job and team coaching, I am working hard towards getting a fitness certification so that I can fulfil my dream to become a professional fitness trainer. My life in the UAE has helped me sow seeds of becoming a maize farmer, an entrepreneur of a car service station and sponsor sporting gear for my local village boys for their matches. When I go back to my roots I plan to give wings to my dream project – a sophisticated training centre where young boys would never have the dearth of running shoes, sporting gear or motivating coaches to ace their game – be it in marathons, rugby or even life.