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Journey of a Lifetime
The collaborative travel documentary project
run in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society (RGS)
Programme Details
1 October 2007
Listen to this programme in full
David Waldman in Kenya
This year the joint BBC and RGS prize for the most adventurous and unusual dream travel idea - a Journey of a Lifetime - went to David Waldman.
David Waldman travels to Kenya's rift valley to live with the Kalenjin, the world's fastest long distance runners.

View a video of David's trip on YouTube

Ever since Kip Keino, the godfather of Kenyan distance runners, won gold at the Mexico Olympics in 1968, Kenyan athletes have reigned supreme, winning just under half of all distance titles at major championships. An incredible achievement for a developing nation that represents just 0.5% of the worlds population.

Kenyans take their running seriously. In a country where the average income is 3 dollars a day, an athlete can travel to the West and earn more in one race than they can hope to make from a lifetime of manual labour. For them, running isn't a pastime, it's a job.

David goes to meet a race of people who see running as their way out of poverty. He starts his journey in Kapsabet, home of Keino's original training ground, before heading uplands through the Charangany hills to Kabiego, 40km from the Ugandan border. Amazingly, this poor remote farming community 2500m above sea level turns out to be home to over 50 of Kenya's finest distance running talent. Along the way, he encounters children running miles to school each day and a wealth of athletes determined to escape the poverty trap. He discovers that what they lack in facilities and opportunities, they make up for with guts and determination, an approach that gave rise to the widely-used Kenyan phrase 'Train hard, win easy'.

Fancy going on your own journey of a lifetime?

The RGS and the BBC are now inviting applicants for this year's award: it consists of a grant to cover the costs of your expedition and a guaranteed radio documentary to be broadcast next autumn on Radio 4.

This competition was already underway before the current suspension of competitions across the BBC.

Visit the Royal Geographical Society's website for full details of how to apply.

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