High Schoolers - Service, Training, & Adventure in Iten, Kenya!

Video and Photos

Brother Colm and Q
Brother Colm and Q
cheetah
cheetah
three boys on a Scavenger Hunt
three boys on a Scavenger Hunt
Fancy Dinner Dress
Fancy Dinner Dress
two girls painting room
two girls painting room
Workout Run
Workout Run
Iten Fartlek
Iten Fartlek
two girls on yellow couch in front of painted wall
two girls on yellow couch in front of painted wall

About

STRIVE has been called “the world’s coolest running camp” but it’s really so much more. You’ll spend 3 weeks training at altitude in the world-famous High Altitude Training Center where you’ll bump shoulders with Olympians and record-holders. You’ll also learn how to serve a community, what the real meaning of “Hakuna Matata” is, and if you can hang with a Kenyan fartlek. The grand finale? A safari - don’t worry, you won’t be running near the lions.

Located at 8,000 ft above sea level, with majestic views into the valley, Iten is the perfect place to follow in the steps of hundreds of elite runners on the famous red-clay roads of Kenya. The crisp morning air makes it great for a morning shake out run, while the afternoon sun is just warm enough but not too hot for a great workout. In between, visit a number of service projects with which STRIVE has fostered connections over the years.

Highlights
  • Learn from your leaders and trip-mates – about service and how we can serve others well, about how to improve as an athlete (whatever your level), how to eat ugali like a Kenyan, and even how to use “Jambo” correctly in a Kenyan Swahili greeting.
  • Be more than a tourist as you settle into life in the Rift Valley, get to know the spectacular town of Iten, and make friends around town while shopping for snacks and running clothes at the famous “Runner’s Point” store
  • Stay in the High Altitude Training Center, run by Lornah Kiplagat, and visited by world class athletes from around the world. If you’re lucky bump shoulders with the world’s best, like David Rudisha, Vivian Cheriyot and maybe even get that selfie you’ve
  • Listen to a legendary coach of the sport, Brother Colm O’Connell, on the campus of the world-famous St Patrick’s Secondary School where trees are planted for each World Champion or Olympian alum.
  • Search for The Big Five while on safari in the Masai Mara, one of the most beautiful places on earth, and practice your jumping skills with Masai warriors

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 4 reviews
  • Growth 10
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
Default avatar
KK
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Strive Kenya was amazing!

My 14yo son participating in the Strive Kenya trip the summer before his freshman year in high school. It was a truly amazing experience that forever changed him. Not only did he become a much better runner (he made the varsity cross country team when he returned), but he grew as a person. I almost didn't recognize him when he got off the plane. He felt older and more mature, and he had a new-found confidence in his ability to accomplish challenging tasks. He loved his leaders, and they took great care of him. He also loved the volunteer experiences. Working with little kids at the school and the children's hospital were some of his favorite moments of the trip. And getting to meet Eliud Kipchoge and other world-class runners and coaches was an incredible opportunity for him. He was inspired by everyone he met there. I can't recommend this trip enough. It was life-changing!

What would you improve about this program?
From the parent perspective, there is nothing I would change. The communication was great both before and during the trip, and I felt confident the entire time that my son was in great hands.
Default avatar
Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful Program

Strive gives high schoolers a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience travel, athletics, and service. The leaders are phenomenal, and my experiences with other students were always fantastic. Students get to experience all sorts of activities, including teaching, training, learning about service, meeting the locals, and exploring the area. In my experience, teaching and training were two of the more rewarding parts of the trip. While I had fun giving lessons in math and English, the kids undoubtedly taught me more than I could possible teach them. As far as training goes, the altitude is tough, but the feeling of finishing a workout is unbeatable. As a side note, be sure to talk to the locals and listen to their stories (it’s always fascinating to hear about their life). I spent two summers with Strive, and would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Default avatar
Natalie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome trip

Strive trips Kenya was an incredible opportunity to explore a country without being touristy, while doing meaningful work in the community. Iten is an optimal spot for runners and other athletes to train and get authentic advice from world champions. As a participant, you're given the independence to explore, without ever feeling unsafe, and options to tailor the experience to what you and your groupmates want to do. One highlight for me was the interactions and relationships I got to build, both with the community and the other travelers. I was able to make connections with people who live halfway across the world, and to Iten itself. The three weeks you're there allow you to fully immerse yourself, and in a short amount of time you may see Iten as a home away from home. Overall, could not recommend Strive enough!

Jason
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thanks for making long distance running a life long hobby for me

Because I used to get bored easily, I sought after the unfamiliar and uncertain by trying new activities. Taking a break from my predictable prep school life, last summer I signed up for STRIVE, a running and service program in Iten, Kenya, a small town hang 8,000 feet above sea level at the edge of the Great Rift Valley.

Through training, I learnt to pay attention to the muscles at work and take conscious control of every single movement. In addition, I embraced other aspects of the program. While teaching, I embellished the material with humor and closely observed each student’s learning style to provide better assistance. During downtime, I stayed offline and engaged in thought-provoking conversations with runners from a myriad of backgrounds. From these experiences, I realized that I had kept myself from making mundane moments enjoyable.

By the time I departed from Iten, I had lost twenty pounds in weight, two minutes in 5K personal records. The moment when we started singing Circle of Life upon spotting the sunrise on Masai Mara will live in my dream forever. Sometime during college, I would love to run along the Great Rift Valley, learn from the amazing athletes, and bond with the local students again.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Having dinner and watching England vs Croatia with Wilson Kipsang, former marathon world record holder. The way back to hotel was slippery. Fell twice and completed mudded my pants but 10/10 worth it.