Indiana friends of
Kenya's Moi University are rallying support for - and even sending some runners to participate
in - a peace run in towns near the campus, which were ravaged by inter-tribal
violence following disputed election results six years ago.
The inaugural MUKESCO race involves categories of varying distances, the longest is a 12k. Organizers say "everyone is welcome and everybody wins" in the "interfaith, intertribal, inter cultural international race. Teams will include village members from varying ages, genders, and physical capabilities plus Moi University students and community members of multiple tribes, religious faiths and cultures, and the international representatives — including the Indy-based runners.
Brian Culp, an IUPUI associate professor in the department of kinesiology, will take Larry Jinkins and Adam Heavrin to Kenya for the race. Champion Kenyan runners including Kip Keino, Moses Tanui, Patrick Sang and Lorna Kiplagat will lead.
"The diverse make-up of the teams is a far cry from the experiences many in Kenya had growing up, where they had little or no contact with members of other tribes or persons with a different religious faith, much less people from other countries," Ian McIntosh, IUPUI's director of international partnership, said.
"The separation of one tribe from another is believed to have played a role when members of one tribe were set upon by members of another tribe following allegations of voting irregularities in 2007."
Students from the School of Physical Ed and Tourism have raised hundreds of dollars to support the grand prize-winning team, which will have a well drilled in its village. More than 2,000 people are expected to participate. To contribute to the effort, visit gofundme.com/Kenya-Peace-Run.