How it all began
In 2007 a partnership was formed between the two sports clubs TV Fürstenfeld in Austria and the Bushtrekkers club in Kenya. Following the first visit of three athletes in summer 2007, 18-year old Ursula Kadan of TV Fürstenfeld spent six months in Nairobi. She lived with the Kenyan athletes, assisted with the organisation of the training and was able to gain a unique insight into the lives of Kenyan athletes and the problems they face. After my own visit in February 2008, it was clear to me that I wanted to help these athletes in some way or other.
The idea of the partnership gave birth to the idea of organising running camps in Austria and for Kenyan athletes to participate in races in Europe. Thanks to the support of the Hebalm tourism company, and with the logistical support and administration provided by members of TV Fürstenfeld, Kenyan athletes were able to participate just a few months later for the first time in a number of road races in Austria, at the majority of which the Kenyan athletes were to be seen on the top of the podium.
The main focus from the very beginning has been the running camps at Hebalm, which shall both help to build friendships and understanding between the Austrian and Kenyan runners, and also provide the economic platform for the construction of a similar training centre in Kenya.
These activities continued in summer 2009 with the number of participants at the running camps almost doubling in comparison with 2008. The success in races also continued with numerous victories, including such prestigious races as the Großglockner mountain race, the Kärnten race and at major marathons in St.Wendel und Mainz.
In 2009, in order to clearly signalise our genuine feeling of community and the mutual support we provide each other, we adopted the club name – run2gether – for all our joint future activities.
The joint club is officially registered in both Austria and Kenya as a running club. A foundation has also been set up in Kenya under the same name which is responsible for all matters relating to the Mount Longonot Sports & Recreation Centre in Kenya.