Five In Depth Lessons Learned From INEOS 159 Challenge.

Forget the hype, what in-depth lessons did you glean privately from the INEOS challenge? Myself, I noted with amusement how most of the lessons flying around were mostly focused on how our friends should support us and be there to help us achieve our dreams. How we should check our circles to note who among our friends can down their tools to help us attain our dreams. This was being said regarding the several pacesetters that had “put aside their dreams” to join Eliud Kipchoge as he attained his and made history hash tagged #nohumanislimited.

History was made

I then recalled how just the other day the same kind of lessons had dominated the Kenyan social media after the demise of the then Safaricom boss Bob Collymore (I still can’t believe he is gone, surely life is too fickle and death too cruel, even legends know its sting, one minute you are here, the next you are not!) May his soul continue resting in eternal peace.

Kenyans had been electrified by Bob’s group of eccentric friends who are top guns in various sectors in the country, they had downed their tools and went to visit their friend in London where he was receiving treatment.

Something struck me though, all these lessons seem very generic, extrinsic and a little self-centered. How comes we keep on demanding our friends to be this and that and whatever it is, it’s always expected that our friends will help us to excel? Why can’t it be the other way around? Why not place a demand on ourselves that we support our friends? How about looking at the challenge from this perspective…..Eliud requested/ invited his athletic colleagues and friends to a highly paid and internationally publicized challenge, where they were going to be exposed to a lot of goodies and possibilities among them being spotted by international sponsors. They would also enter the elite club of Kenyan stars who set pace in a memorable world record.

1. The Partnership

It’s not just Eliud who was achieving something here, everybody was having a piece of the big cake. In fact, I like to think of it as a partnership/ business deal. Let’s get a bit real here, Eliud was being paid to make his own history, some people may not like to hear it put that way but it’s the truth lol, did you hear how much he pocketed? The staggering amount knocked the breath out of me, honestly! I observed a moment of silence 😊, yeah, it’s that huge! Anyway, to be able to make his history and accomplish this deal, he needed those highly qualified and talented pace setters, his success depended on them, it was not an option but a critical requirement.

The fabulous team of Pace makers

If you read and watch the videos on the INEOs Challenge Facebook page you will see all the critical details and requirements that had to be put in place including the special formation for the pace setters.

It explains that the reason they kept changing the pace setters is because one person could not be able to maintain the pace required throughout the race. To enable Eliud beat the target time, they had to be rotated for Eliud to be able to maintain it too. Its mind boggling though that Eliud had that strength to pull that off and play his role, wow!.

The formation

” if you want to go fast…go alone but if you want to go far…go together”

The pace setters accepted the job and it was not free. Pace setting is a career and a highly paid one. The INEOS company got the worldwide recognition that it was looking for, I am sure we shall soon start ordering our fertilizers from them and that’s fine 😊.

So, let’s not confuse and misinterpret the whole concept to what we want or wish it to look like.

The Partnership

But still, regardless of the compensation packages and all, one thing to note is that Eliud had included his qualified friends, colleagues and neighbors in this highly benefiting event. Question is, how many of us have had opportunities that we could have involved and benefited our circle of friends and families?

But because of the selfishness in us and the fear we have of them doing better than us, we instead went and looked for other people out there including strangers yet your neighbors kids are tearfully tarmacking and borrowing from you to survive??

How many of us are leaders and have been asked to recommend someone for an award for a good job and we said we had no one in mind yet you knew very well your friends/ colleagues obviously deserved the award? How many of us?

Instead of asking ourselves who among our friends can put aside their hustles to stand with us as we thrive in our hustle, can we also ask ourselves this question.

Can you …yes you Wanjiku put your hustle aside, miss tender deadlines, postpone important business meetings to signing a deal, put on hold the house you are planning to build with your hard earned savings to first lend the money to your very faithful friend who has been there for you?

To go stand with them and show mighty support as you watch them rake in millions in a deal or receive big awards? I know some people who can’t stand watching their friends win.

2. Align yourself with the right people.

The other lesson I learned is the need to align oneself with people who have the same interests and ambitions as you. All the pacesetters were selected and handpicked from a group of high performers. Eliud no doubt has friends from all walks of life, am pretty sure he even has friends who are farmers, shopkeepers, accountants or even CEOs.

But he could not have attained his quest if he had brought the mentioned friends to the tracks with him. No, he needed his racing friends, no offence to all his other friends but to do this he needed the right set of friends, a team who clearly knew and understood the stakes, spoke the same language and shared the same vision.


The staging…..all aligned with same vision and same goal…1:59 to beat the 2 Min mark!

Do you have, look for and keep a circle of friends that share the same ambitions, visions and goals as you? Or you are always hanging around friends who don’t even care to know what you do or see any importance in what you do? Its time for you to set up or join a circle where you belong.

3. Not world famous and rich? You are still important!

As much as I was elated by Eliud’s achievement, I couldn’t help wondering, isn’t it wonderful to have something you can do and the whole world takes note, sits back and watches? How does it feel to know that your name and achievements are trending around the globe?

Must be an out of this world feeling, right? Well, some of us will probably never experience it, but don’t be sad or feel small, some of us accomplish very important things that touch and change the lives of people in many priceless ways.

I am important in my small world….. its good enough for me

You might not be recognized by the world or even locally but just know that the universe acknowledges you, and every time you accomplish one helpful deed, Angels and the unseen forces in the universe gather and take a bow in honor of you. I think that’s the greatest honor of all, true? Some of the surprise blessing we get could be a good karma resulting from something you did, and the person has been saying a prayer for you ever since.

The beauty of life nowadays is the fact that right this moment you can spring up from the dust and become a world sensation overnight, its really encouraging that now, we have an open field for people to showcase their uniqueness and creativity, be recognized and rewarded for it.

Getting rich and famous is no longer a secret formula for the privileged few like it used to be. These days fortunes change overnight, in a blink of an eye, your life could change and never be the same again!

4. Kenya is a blessed country, treasure this fact!

Have you ever imagined how among the African countries, Kenya seems to grab International headlines quite often? I will dwell on the good headlines in this case. Kenya is a small country but no doubt a country to recon with…… we are a blessed nation, but I feel like we are blind to this, if we really knew it then, we would take full advantage of it.

Look at all these advantages we have, Geographical location, weather, education, beautiful mother nature attractions. Look at all the talents overflowing, we have some of the most talented people in the world, we produce globally respected athletes. Kenya is the queen of Olympics among other things. Of all other nations, Kenya is home to the INEOS challenge Champion and it’s a big feat.


That flag has been hoisted in countless victories, its a winning flag!

Kenya is one of the nicest places in Africa to live in, but half the Kenyan population doesn’t even know this, if we did, we would strive to make it even better and not destroying it. But if you don’t know the value of what you have, you will never know how to treasure it for what it’s worth.

I wish every Kenyan would live and work in some places like middle East, then you would truly know what a jewel you have for a country. Yet here we are, being ranked among the most corrupt countries, we have some of the greediest individuals I have ever seen!

Dear Kenyans, before you sit down and scheme your evil and corrupt deeds to discredit and do a disservice to my country locally or internationally, ask yourself this, you have been favored by God by having you born in a small but a country of abundance, what did you do to deserve it?

You could have been born in a worse place…..appreciate and safeguard your heritage, a place where you truly belong in your own right, because out there, it’s a different beast, you only have this one!

5. Be a person that people want to support and be associated with

Lastly, be a person that people want to be associated with, to support and to cheer for. Be good, be kind and helpful to the people around you. Be that person whom when something happens, people knock down each other trying to be the one who helps you first. I have seen very few of these people, let’s be the next one.

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