Hoosiers backing major Kenyan peace run

MUKESCO Kenya Peace Run planning committee.

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.

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