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Hyde Park Blast

Hyde Park Blast

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Kenya long has been a cradle of running champions, but its secret is as old as that parents' chestnut that begins, "When I was your age ...""We joke about walking for miles to school," said Scott Robinson, team manager for the AmeriKenyan Running Club based in Santa Fe, N.M.

"Well, they actually did it - and without shoes."� Read more on the Runner�s High blog.That was the case for Haron Lagat, whom Robinson represents.

Lagat and fellow Kenyan Wesley Korir are among the top competitors in Saturday's Hyde Park Blast."I grew up in a small village, and middle school was like 5 miles away, so I ran back and forth to school," Lagat said Friday.

He also attended St.

Patrick's High School in Iten, Kenya, which has a reputation for developing many Olympic and world champions.Korir finished second in last year's Blast.

Since then, he finished fourth in last year's Chicago Marathon and won this year's Los Angeles Marathon.The Blast's 4-mile course appeals to top runners, many of whom specialize in 5K (3.1 miles) and 10K (6.2 miles) races.

Its dedication to charities and social issues also is a draw - Lagat and Korir, for example, took part in a program Friday to raise awareness about the importance of safe drinking water in developing countries.Saturday's elite race isn't lacking in local star power.

Top area men who will compete include Brian List, Christopher Reis, Tim Mencher and T.J.


On the women's side, Heather Clark, Melanie Price and Corey Randall are entered.The elites start at 9:15 a.m.

For the rest of us, the 4-mile run/walk starts at 8 a.m.

Events and parties last all day, including an evening cycling event through the streets of Hyde Park for all levels.

Overall, organizers expect up to 4,000 participants.
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