WEARS SOCKS AND WINS
Just last week, we wrote about the monumental achievement of María Lorena Ramírez, a native Rarámuri woman from Mexico, who won a 50-kilometer ultramarathon in rubber sandals made from used car tires and wearing a long traditional skirt. Today, we cover the amazing story of a man who not only won a 23-kilometer marathon in Estonia, but also set a new speed record, after running with no shoes on. It’s definitely an incredible time for sports, and running in particular.
“It was pretty difficult in the beginning,” Ibrahim told Estonian news site Delfi. “Especially on the asphalt, but on the dirt trail it was quite good to run and in the end I got used to it.”
“When I was running, I forget I don’t have shoes, I just running like I have,” Ibrahim said in a video interview. “I keep in mind, I say ‘I have shoes, I have to go now.'”
It’s hard to believe that just five years ago, Ibrahim Mukunga Wachira was working with his family on a tea plantation at the foot of Mount Kenya, and lived in a modest hut. He had begun training as a long-distance runner, but due to his modest roots, he still had to work in the fields to put food on the table.
His luck changed when he met a fellow runner from a faraway country called Estonia. Tiidrek Nurme immediately saw his potential, and even though they could barely communicate, due to Ibrahim’s poor English, he invited him to his country to be his training partner. They have been friends for five years now, and training together for four years.