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Utrecht uses €100 trick to 'discourage' Kenyan marathon runners

Saturday 09 April 2011

The organisers of the Utrecht marathon are offering prize money of just €100 to Kenyan nationals if they win the event, but a Dutch winner will get €10,000, the Volkskrant reports on Saturday.

The aim is to discourage Kenyans from taking part in the 42 km race, nicknamed the Dutch Battle, on April 25, the organisers say.

Last year Kenyan runners won the Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Enschede and Leiden marathons. The Utrecht race has been won by a Kenyan for the past four years and the organisers hope to give top Dutch athletes a chance to win this year.

Event director Louran van Keulen told the paper the prize money trick had been worked out with the help of a lawyer. Banning Kenyans outright would break discrimination laws but discouraging them from taking part is legal, Van Keulen said.

The race website does not mention the prize differences but says ‘only athletes who have been invited to take part are eligible for big money prizes’.

According to television programme EenVandaag, only people with a Dutch passport have been invited to take part in the race.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

What this article fails to mention, but what is in the Volkskrant article, is that the money that normally would have been used to invite top athletes, is now used to invest in training camps.

By pepe | 9 April 2011 8:54 PM

Well, maybe Dutch athletes should train harder. With this solution these marathon races will get only known within the country and its reputation will become less and less.

By Paco | 9 April 2011 10:20 PM

If I was a Kenyan runner I would tell all my mates to show up for the race and win the first ten places for the laugh...HaHaHa

By Paddy | 9 April 2011 10:23 PM

PVV must be happy, if you can beat them make sure that they don't show up..... Maybe we should ban the Dutch from ice scating.

By Casper | 9 April 2011 10:40 PM

May God bless the soul of "Equal opportunity Netherlands" Amin

By J.Khan | 9 April 2011 11:58 PM

This is so racist.I am amazed they are bragging about it.

By Jason Buttle | 10 April 2011 12:29 AM

I feel ashamed.....(living in Mexico as a Dutch citizen)

By miranda | 10 April 2011 2:25 AM

Can't say I'm not sympathetic to this. When do locals ever get a chance to be a local hero? Why can't the best person from a small place, be the best person in that small place, instead of professionals from abroad always sweeping up everything? People ought to be able to have local events, with local winners, not just yet another opportunity for a big international top-dog to pick up yet more easy money.

By glenn_uk | 10 April 2011 2:42 AM

If this story is true; It is not a true, marathon it's just a joke race for this Netherlands town.
A true marathon encompass all. Or should we only call Greek races in Athens marathons
Nothing new with in Europe anyway most European nations encompass those who supported Nazism anyway.

By Steve | 10 April 2011 5:11 AM

Discouraging Kenyans is the same as banning them as far as I’m concern. I think we should make these runners Dutch so we can tax them after they win. This way it is a win- win-win situation. We have good marathon runners, the government will collect taxes and the Kenyans will get Dutch nationality. The only one which is not going to be happy about it is Wielders.

By Al | 10 April 2011 5:36 AM

This is racist Dutch.

By Vinod | 10 April 2011 6:25 AM

Good on you for encouraging the outraged comments. According to the Volkskrant, the money would be redirected to training Dutch athletes. Not that I agree with what they are doing, but the whole story would be nice especially for those who can't read Dutch yet.

By CW | 10 April 2011 8:22 AM

Kenyan's have it in their blood to run fast! The Dutch will just have to speed up or let them win. Even with the 100 price, I bet you,Kenyans will still run. It's not just about the money, it's the pride in the winning.

By Lisa | 10 April 2011 8:32 AM

This is outright discrimination. The dutch claim to be open and fair but their acts like these do not support what they say. Not a good sign for now as well as future.Hope good sense prevails and such racial discrimination stops.

By Vinay Kulkarni | 10 April 2011 9:42 AM

This is what i call ''pure'' athletic spirit, or better pure racism. It reminds me the olympics in Berlin with Hitler wanting germans to win, but it happened that a guy of colour did..if you wish continue this way Netherlands...

By pepe | 10 April 2011 10:27 AM

I can't believe the lengths the Dutch authorities will go to, to discourage real competition. If the Dutch athletes can't win fair and square, let them improve.

By poonam | 10 April 2011 10:43 AM

Why do organisor think money is important to the Kenya Marathon runners.They paricipate not for money but for passion.The organisor can rather have a local Marathon than International.
Shame on you
sport discremination.

By Mo | 10 April 2011 1:23 PM

haha, that's cheap. what happens if in a chess marathon only russians win? Or in a cooking competition a french guy wins? Admit you're racists. Pathetic...

By axel | 10 April 2011 1:30 PM

This is OUTRAGEOUS!!!! asides the Kenyan runners, proven to be amongst the best in the world, this race is a popular race with all nationalities from Europe! What does the race prove when the best are not present??? banning them would be discrimination?? and only awarding the €10,000 prize money to a Dutch national is what exactly??? DISGUSTING IS WHAT IT IS!! Are the organisers members of the PVV by any chance?

By Katie | 10 April 2011 4:42 PM

Do commenters here know that Dutch can have any color? Not all of us are white, you know.

By pepe C | 10 April 2011 5:14 PM

This is harmful for dutch and international athletes....if a Dutch runner wins, can he feel proud of it ? knowing he won because the bests were banned ??

By Mario | 10 April 2011 5:38 PM

The year is 2011 and Europeans are still suffering from xenophobia.

This policy of the Utrecht marathon organizers of banning or discouraging Africans from equal access and treat is not surprising.

Many Europeans around the world are still as ignorant, prejudice and weak as their ancestors that engaged in what is called, the Age of Discovery.

After Europeans discovered the world was not flat, they engaged in another Age of rewriting, masquerading and denial of African peoples achievements and contribution to world history.

In reality, it was the European cultures Age of Exploitation, smash and grab of Africa, the Americas and Asia.

The Utrecht marathon organizers should consider providing the same generosity and humanity that many Europeans experience today, as did the great Dutch and other European explores when they arrived in the Lands and on the Beaches of other cultures around the world in search of a better life.

By Trevor Smith | 10 April 2011 6:22 PM

Cannot believe that this is allowed in the Netherlands. I think it does nothing for the image of the NL in the world. What will happen next ? Let's hope Dutch people don't start ignoring people who allow them to pull out at road junctions, or fail to use basic manners and the word 'thankyou' when for example, some damn foreigner holds a door open for them,moves aside on the pavement etc etc.

By dave clog | 10 April 2011 8:42 PM

Hey, why always screaming about racism and discrimination?

All they want is to let local people compete for a prize.
We already know who is the best in the world, and when the marathon is international we know who wins.
Now locals get a chance and motivation. It will not make them "best runners in the world", but "best in Utrecht" or "best in the Netherlands" - OK!

All the organizers do is allow only Dutch nationals to participate. Basically exclude all foreigners. Race and skin color are irrelevant.
If you want to have a citizen-only local competition, why not? I think every country still has a right not to invite the rest of the world to a party!

By kostya | 10 April 2011 9:21 PM

I am sure how true it is, but I know one of the organisors of such marathon in the other city. In fact they negotiate with kenyan runners to be part of their marathon. This makes the event more internationally popular. For that they pay huge money + arrangements. People here are saying they run for pride and not money, I think thats not true..

By Sunny | 10 April 2011 9:23 PM

This is quite simply bad business. I love watching Marathon. I enjoy seeing top international athletes run at their best. When I visit a town to watch a marathon I spend money, I buy my family lunch, maybe dinner, do some shopping, maybe even stay for the weekend. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with any of the dutch elite marathon runners, so they are not enough of a draw to get me to Utrecht for this race. If they want to keep their marathon local, they need to realise this will also mean less money for the local economy.

By nedsy | 10 April 2011 10:03 PM

Don't they already have exclusive sporting events where the less than top-notch athletes can have their moment in the spotlight?

I think these are called 'special olympics' - our clod-hopping dutch turtles should have a look into it, rather than just banning more dark-skinned people from the country.

By Geert De Bore | 10 April 2011 11:20 PM

@Steve: Nothing new with in Europe anyway most European nations encompass those who supported Nazism anyway.

Did you really just write this? Really? You do know that Holland was **invaded** by the Nazis during WWII, right?

By Maru | 11 April 2011 6:01 AM

Seems to me this doesn't only affect Kenyan runners, but any non-NL runner. If I am a NL resident, living in Utrecht for 20 years but w/o an NL passport, I wouldn't be eligible for the big prize money. Nor would a Belgian, German or Surinamese runner who entered the race.

If the organization is so in for "local heros" why not split the prize money-- €5,000 for first place and €5,000 for the first Dutchman/woman. Still be a pretty big incentive for a Dutch runner to come in first: 2 x winnings.

The current system makes the whole thing seem like a xenophobic farce! The Utrecht Marathon organizers need to hire a better PR firm.

By Cal | 11 April 2011 7:37 AM

hei PPL, why dont we make a small collect and raise the prize money? and we could raise a bit more for schools, to teach this people that this is NOT how you "hope to give top Dutch athletes a chance to win this year.

By filipe | 11 April 2011 8:07 AM

Dutch seriously think Kenyan athletes can take €100?? They need to get serious and this is an insult..The Rotterdam, and Utrecht marathon are not among the world best and fancied by Kenyan athletes..Talk of New York, London, Paris and yeah you got our attention...

By Tash | 11 April 2011 8:10 AM

As it stands it's racist and beyond embarrassing.

Why not offer 5,000 for the overall winner and 5,000 for the fastest Dutchman?

By Louise | 11 April 2011 8:17 AM

I am a Kenyan and thank you all for the support. I thought boycotting would be a better solution but I agree with Paddy; my fellow Kenyans should come run the race of course win for the heck of it.

By Nyabonyi | 11 April 2011 8:21 AM

strange thing is, many people actually think this type of idea is no problem. yikes!!

By Bill | 11 April 2011 8:24 AM

So the organizers of a marathon have to spend €100.000 to invite top athletes. If they don't they are accused of racism. OK, that is an interesting way of looking at it.

By holly g | 11 April 2011 9:53 AM

Dutch women Hilda Kibet and Lornah Kiplagat should run here and win. Or they will be branded Kenyans?

By chris | 11 April 2011 11:09 AM

Do the Kenyan runners also have to wear a yellow star of david ????

Utter Rubbish!

By Indian in Holland | 11 April 2011 11:36 AM

You can't have it both ways. An international class race with local class rules. Same applies with immigrants.

By Ron | 11 April 2011 12:30 PM

The prize should be the same regardless of where the winner comes from. It's as simple as that.

By Ian Howell | 11 April 2011 2:00 PM

I agree, Bill. Yikes, indeed!

Run, Kenyans, run! I think letting the best people compete and splitting the prize money is the best decision that could be made here.

Are they now going to start banning certain ice hockey clubs for having too many Canadians?

By Milk container | 11 April 2011 2:41 PM

Kenyans aren't the only competition the Dutch have. Even 80 year old Canadians can give them a run for their money, so to speak. (80 y.o. Canadian Ed Whitlock broke marathon record for 80 yr old w/ 3:25:43 at Rotterdam Marathon).

By Monique | 11 April 2011 3:47 PM

I'm speechless. How mean-spirited and small-minded can you get? Reminds me of the 'local shop for local people' on the British black comedy TV show 'The League Of Gentlemen'. This place gets more like Royston Vesey every day...

By JW - British national | 11 April 2011 3:49 PM

This is a joke, yes? Tell me it isn't so Queen Beatrix! This will put the whole country a laughing stock of the sport world.

By Carlos Borjal | 11 April 2011 3:57 PM

Let the games begin, and have a special recognition for the locals.

By Dana | 11 April 2011 4:11 PM

Good idea!

They should publish the whole list:
A winner from Holland gets 10,000, if from Belgium - 9,000, Germany - 8,000, Norway - 4,000, The US - 1,200, India - 700, Egypt - 350, Kenya - 100 etc etc

Or even better: if you are from Kenya and win, you PAY 10,000 to Utrecht instead ...

By BB | 11 April 2011 4:20 PM

Lets all hope that this story does not catch the attention of the World media. It is truly embarrassing. How pathetic. The person who thought this up should be fired immediately.

By vcambri | 11 April 2011 4:30 PM

I wonder how Dutch marathoners think about this. It is a slap in the face to them as well.

By vcambri | 11 April 2011 4:34 PM

Ridiculous, xenophobic nonesense. Maybe they should kick all the foreign players out of the eredivisie too - give more Dutch players a chance?

By Terry | 11 April 2011 4:46 PM

If you want to do a local hero thing, then just give a small prize for the best participant from Utrecht, open to anyone resident in Utrecht.

When I went to the Wijk an Zee chess tournament, the top players in the world were there competing for big money. Seeing current and former world champions compete only made the event better for the local participants, who were still 90% of the entries. There were awards for top former/current MP (there were about 10), oldest participant, best young player, local heroes, etc.

Excluding people is disgusting. One has to be really ignorant to expect small NL to be on top, and childish to throw a fit when it isn't.

By Rob | 11 April 2011 4:46 PM

I wonder how Dutch marathoners think about this. It is a slap in the face to them as well.

By vcambri | 11 April 2011 5:35 PM

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander"... Heads I win, tales you loose!
Might as well keep the prize money the same, but ensure that all Kenyan competitors must be fitted with DEEP SEA DIVING BOOTS!!!

By The Visitor | 11 April 2011 7:04 PM

It's disgusting. It reminds me of 50 years ago here where we shut down the state's entire school system just to prevent integration.

By Greg Adams | 11 April 2011 7:14 PM

I do not agree with different prize money. The winner should get the same, no matter what his nationality is. I am, however, in favour of races for 'normal' runners without the professionals (whatever country they might come from). I am a pretty good runner myself, I do have a lot of respect for the Kenyans etcetera who run a lot faster than I do, but I don not see why I always have to compete against them. I like to run in a race against people like me, who also work 5 days a week and need to combine that with their training. After all, does every football player have to compete against the Spanish national team every week?

By Ronald | 11 April 2011 7:31 PM

Good points, Cal and Louise, Instead of assuming why the organizing committee did this, you offered a very reasonable alternative which affords an opportunity for everyone. I have run marathons and half marathons, even a 10k once in Amsterdam. Of course I always run towards of the back of the pack, so I would never even think about winning prize money but I think a split prize is a good idea. Many races have separate prizes for the top male and female runners, so why not international and local?

By Rick B (Tampa, FL, USA) | 11 April 2011 7:59 PM

Sporting events should be about getting people together and supporting 'healthy' competition. One that motivates you to want to compete for the challenge! That means uniting all and competing with all, and may the best man win!If you want a Dutch to win with pride and joy, Utrecht, why not organise a 'bike'race instead of a marathon!

By amy | 11 April 2011 8:50 PM

All non-Dutch runners should apply for Dutch nationality! Mind you, I'm sure plenty of you reading this site know the problems associated with doing that!

By Fifi Le Noir | 11 April 2011 9:02 PM

Shame on the Netherlands! At least sport should unite, where has the olympic spirit gone ? So sorry for all the dutch people. Beyond decency.

By alberto | 11 April 2011 9:47 PM

This is disgusting. I hope that the Kenyans, or SOMEBODY will look out for them and speak up.

This is just such a disappointing example of how cheap the Dutch are. I worked for them for several years and it's disrespectful. And, at the same time, the Netherlands has been my home and I am disgusted that they would be so low and cheap to dishonor this.

By SMF | 12 April 2011 3:21 AM

This is a joke right. What kind of sportsmanship is this? Eliminate the better competitors so I can win...yahooooooooooooo

By Mad Man | 12 April 2011 5:44 AM

Hey guys if you want to have a local event with local heroes make it local. But no, we want international recognition so we need to be local international heroes. Unbelievable!

By Ada | 12 April 2011 7:17 AM

i think its funny, very funny, its the dutch being dutch, i cant judge i am not dutch, i am a visitor to this country even if i stay till i die, i know and i accept that!
100 euros certianly aint much.

By Damo | 12 April 2011 9:23 AM

Are the Kenyan runners holders of Dutch passports? If so, why not call them Kenyan-Dutch instead of Kenyan, like Americans call American citizens of Irish decent, Irish-Americans? The discrimination is in the wording.

By Neil | 12 April 2011 10:03 AM

It is so painful reading this.Why on earth will the organizers call it a competition when they are being selective? Let the best take the prize irrespective of color, nationality, religion or creed, height, weight. There should be no discrimination in sports.

By jojo | 12 April 2011 10:14 AM

lol, thats not the way to do it, the dutch athletes should simply work harder... Not discourage those who are better and be the best of the losers (I doubt if they are even the best of the losers, never seen a dutchman come 2nd or 3rd in a marathon)!!! lol

By Stalin | 12 April 2011 11:38 AM

@alberto "where has the Olympic spirit gone?"
The Olympic spirit was running for the pride of winning, not for 10.000 or even 100 euro. Where is the "unity" in a race where 99% of the competitors are running for nothing, and 1% are running to win 10.000?

By Cenwulf | 12 April 2011 12:29 PM

"Banning Kenyans outright would break discrimination laws but discouraging them from taking part is legal." Ya right, it is called discrimination with a hypocrisy.

By bimalesh | 12 April 2011 1:29 PM

seems like a sensible thing to do if your goal is to promote local athletes. Not racist unless you state your goal is to see FASTEST MEN IN THE WORLD!!! I think its funny its taken this long to think of. If you think its racist ask yourself about the 'training camps' top countrys take their athletes on before Olympics, that jsut happen to be hard to get to for drug testers. Get over it. lol@Paco comment 'Dutch train harder' thats hilarious keep it coming

By gogo | 12 April 2011 2:02 PM

Kenyan Golden boys and girls can run for free but instead donate part of their million dollars wealth to the Dutch winners! Paul Tergat alone can fund the Dutch Race, Shame on Dutch RACISM!

By Felix Masi | 12 April 2011 3:48 PM

...if I were a Kenyan athelete and would win this race I would get this 10000 Euros and give it back as a charity to those people who had this idea! ...although I am afraid that thsi kind of peolple still would not feel ashamed...

By Marco | 12 April 2011 8:40 PM

And why is the big price open to Dutch Nationals and not to Dutch residents? As a Dutch resident, I can vote and I do vote at all local elections, but I am not allowed to 'win' at good prices at the local Marathon? And WHO is drafting the list of invitations? This whole thing is so wrong, in so many ways!!!!

By Athe | 13 April 2011 6:21 AM

And what about Dutch nationals who are mostly resident in, say, Kenya? Iten is a better training spot than anywhere in the Netherlands, they are just trying this race into the unofficial Dutch marathon championship. You are free to run, but if you are good enough to win in an international field, and you arent a national you should try another marathon.

By Teddy | 13 April 2011 12:05 PM

I have better idea. Allow dutch athletes to use their bicycle!

By Rakesh | 13 April 2011 1:55 PM

In Kenya, we have superb training facilities that other nations from the Gulf and Europe take advantage of. We welcome the Dutch to try our high altitude training regime. That is our secret, but I guess you already knew that.

By Steve | 13 April 2011 9:02 PM

This is a sad day for humanity. Discrimination of any form or shape is the bedrock of human indignity.
Shame on the Dutch, shame. Wake up from atheletic mediocrity and up your race game. Now we shall race faster and bite harder if for nothing but to ensure the spirit of fair human triumph wins

By ken Kariuki | 14 April 2011 7:45 AM

The Kenyans are coming..the Kenyans are going to win the €100 and donate it to a dutch only orphanage!..think for a moment how that insult felt..take another moment to think how Kenyans felt before I put that up there..

By Runner | 14 April 2011 8:05 AM

Am a Kenyan.We don't have many international events but time back we had wrc safari rally.The biggest fun and what every kenyan recalls so vividly is the then top rally boys in action;Tommi Mäkinen,Colin McRae,Juha Kankkunen,Yoshio Fujimoto,Björn Waldegård,Miki Biasion,Ari Vatanen to name but a few.If these guys failed to show up the event would be tasteless,not that we don't have locals, or want locals beaten but we want to see the best doing it to learn how to do best.You never win by rejecting a winner.strategy and hardwork earns you more.

By kibs | 14 April 2011 8:16 AM

Why not just make a race for Dutch then? May as well if the rules are different. And its not about training, kenyans are genetically endowed to be better at such activities.

By Serena | 14 April 2011 9:30 AM

i say we have our pride as well, let's leave them to race themselves .. they will soon realise how lifeless their races are without the kenyan charm .. we should take this in good stride and prove to the world that kenyans remain the best even in races won by others in their absence ..

By Khalsa Lakhvir-SINGH | 14 April 2011 9:41 AM

This is an unbelievable racist thing to do and a surprise from a country being proud of its tolerance. On top of that it is an insult to the whole idea and spirit of the Marathon (a 2500 year old sport). If the Dutch want to win the marathon, they should train harder.
Having studied and previously worked and lived in the Netherlands, this is something that appals me. My children are half-Dutch; this is not a very proud moment of their Dutch side.
Actually, I think that all interanational top runners should boycott the Utrech Marathon in protest.

By Chris Moumouris | 14 April 2011 9:51 AM

A sad day for humanity, ken Kariuki, is that Kenya puts homosexuals in jail. Shame on the Kenyans, shame.

By pepe C | 14 April 2011 10:09 AM

I hope Kenyans come and win the top 10 slots just for fun!

By Davie | 14 April 2011 10:17 AM

I am a Kenyan and I think the Dutch should just organize a local marathon instead of going out of their way to discourage Kenyans,In fact I think this just gives us a reason to participate!

By Cherono | 14 April 2011 11:46 AM

I am so dissapointed at this. I am a Kenyan and i think if Dutch nationals need to win it then they need to train hard or get on a freakin plane and go to Kenya and train with the athletes in the training camps to see how they do it.You shouldn't sideline us(Kenyans) just because you cannot RUN and WIN. If that was the case then you shouldn't invite the Kenyans not Ethipians to any races. This is discrimination of the highest order so far(yeah,PVV must be scratching their buts like happy apes now)
You know what i will do, i am applying for my Dutch Passport now and come next year I shall ATTEND the race and WIN!

By Jerrie wa Kenya | 14 April 2011 12:44 PM

The Kenyan athletes should make a powerful showing and clinch all the top spots, accept the piecemeal prize money and buy ice cream for their worthy losing opponents as a sign of good sportsmanship. Where did the organizers pick the erroneous notion that Kenyan athletes are motivated by money in order to win championships?

By Billy | 14 April 2011 1:21 PM

This is ridiculous! where on earth do these people get such weird ideas? Already Kenyan athletics officials have advised athletes invited for this race to give it a miss but i would wish they go and shame those organizers by winning in style; donate to charity their pennies and head to other serious international marathons with no discrimination (running is an everyday phenomenon for us. This would affirm the universality of sport. I will not be surprised if they start discriminating against Kenyan runners who have changed citizenship to Dutch.

By Cheboi | 14 April 2011 1:56 PM

I'm Dutch and from Utrecht and angry and embarrassed about this ridiculous racist and unsporting idea. In response to some of the comments though, I'd like to point out that the authorities have nothing to do with this: the organisers came up with this, and they are independent. The Municipality is embarrassed about this and has asked the equalities commission to look into it.

By Charlotte | 14 April 2011 3:12 PM

if you win because you blocked out the better person..doesn't really qualify as a 'win' but it's your country to screw with as you please...also, please have your next safari on your soil..thanks!

By muthiga | 14 April 2011 4:17 PM

nedsy had a valid point : Either make the race local, but then don't complain when nobody's coming, cause you miss out on the international (foreign, Kenyan) stars, hereby losing a lot of money from all the tourists that also don't show up to see the marathon.

This is ridiculous though, to discourage Kenyan runners from participating. I say : Ban the Dutch speedskaters from participating as well then..

Zach, from The Netherlands

By Double-0-Eight | 14 April 2011 6:44 PM

If i were a Kenyan runner, I'd show up and run, win it, then give away the 100 euros to the best Dutch in race. Guess where the race organizers and Dutch runners are right now? Yes - that's right - at a training camp in Kenya (Iten). And they're still trying to explain it to Kenyans. The Kenyans should kick them out right now.

By Idon | 15 April 2011 2:27 AM

If the issue is giving the locals a chance to win then DO NOT make it an international marathon have a national marathon. Otherwise, do not hold an international marathon then penalize the foreigners for winning. Better yet, you cannot have it all, so invest on what the Dutch are good at and earn your crowns in a fair manner.
Should the Kenyans not turn up then it will be winning by cheating for the Dutch. I wonder what you guys are all about; you question the morals of the younger generations who have you as leaders?

By Valerie | 15 April 2011 6:07 AM

This would be such a hollow victory for the dutch, As a kenyan i must say its not automatic that we are fast runners ,i my self im a couch potato. our runners are good because they train very hard all year round.
I repeat this will be such a hollow victory, imagine brazil germany ,argentina being banned from the world cup for being too good ! thats what ur shitty marathon sounds like

By adrian | 15 April 2011 8:49 AM

@ Poonam: This is not the doing of the dutch authorities but of the organisers of the marathon. That doesn't make it any less outrageous and racist of course.

@ Kostya: they are not organizing a marathon only for local runners, it is an internationally known event and foreigners can participate. Specifically Kenyans are discouraged because they will only get 100 euro if they win, a dutch winner would get 10.000. To do this in a race open to everyone is… yes really, racism.
If they want only locals to win they should organize an only locals competition!

By Tascha | 15 April 2011 12:46 PM

@ Al: A joke maybe but that statement is racist in itself. Who says the Kenyans want Dutch nationality? Don't they have a nationality, culture and country to be part of & proud of already? As if anyone would switch to being Dutch right away because we are like"soooo great"?! I don't even want to know what other reasons you thought were a good justification for assuming they would just go along with it.
Here, be Dutch! As if we're God's gift. Really… Not even looking at how hard we are making it for people to get that fantastic Dutch nationality…

By Tascha | 15 April 2011 12:48 PM

@ Marco: Except you would only get a 100,- @Valerie: "so invest on what the Dutch are good at and earn your crowns in a fair manner" Are you sure? Have you heard about the VOC and the WC? When slave trade was booming, the Dutch were DHL/UPS…

Make a race for locals only or train harder! Why our government is allowing this kind of practice is beyond me...

By Tascha | 15 April 2011 12:51 PM

The dutch person who wins will have a heavy burden placed upon them ti either, keep the money? decline the money?. How can they celebrate when in 'real life they actually came 47th? It is embarassing to all athletes. This marketing may get the crowd they want, but i think spectators on the day will be angry.

By sunnydaze | 16 April 2011 11:57 AM

I'm a Kenyan and here local talent is nurtured since children are less than 15 yrs in school. So by the time they are ready for international marathons we take the best. Besides, we know we don't win in other sports and we are ok. We concentrate on what we are best at. Try that and your (Dutch)self esteem will go up. And don't forget some of the gold you get in olympics and other games in 800m or so come from Kenyans living there.

By RMote | 18 April 2011 11:02 AM

I am a Kenyan and a half marathon runner. I am a sportsman, a lover of sports and a faithful of the dogma called competition. I have lost in many competitions and equally won in others. I have a first hand experience of a loser and a winner in sports meaning I am not using a theory to express my views. I have participated several years in Utrecht marathon and Utrecht is my current residential city. Personal credential aside, I am afraid, very afraid. A “separatist” mentality seems to be taking root in Utrecht sports. A ‘tribe’ of lone rangers seem to be emerging in this Dutch city and this tribe seems to be allergic to competition. The tribe elder wants to ‘kidnap’ the zeitgeist of Dutch sportsmen/women. The philosophy of the tribe is simple- ‘ethnic’ cleansing.

‘Utrecht tribe’ has a funny conviction. To make tortoises faster like antelopes, separate the two and feed the tortoises with a lot of cabbages. By ‘protecting’ them from the stampede of the impalas and especially the waterbucks from the grasslands in eastern Africa is the tribes’ recipe to build the endurance muscles. This logic would make sense, a lot of it especially on April 1st. For now, this is squarely the antithesis of the sportsman’s spirit. We must help the Utrecht city ‘liberate’ itself from this big and fat deception.

There has to be something very wrong with defining sports if its brightest promoters are content to remain socially insensitive to the value of sports beyond the prize awarding dais and the signing of the national anthem.

‘Sport demagogy’ has no place in the world of sports or in today’s democracy. The “siege mentality” enveloping Utrecht city is in stark contrast to the nation Dutch people and everyone want. E pluribus unum, or “Out of many, one” is the slogan on the seal of the United States. It’s a motto that unites, rather than divides. I want to urge Louran van Keulen and the elders of this ‘compephobic tribe’ to ponder the spirit of this motto before they take athletics off the cliff with them. Sports are not about powerful against the powerless? It is not about “us” against “them”. The spirit of competition in sports is the core of its identity!

I have never witnessed something as unbelievably callous as the motion by Louran van Keulen to ban Kenyan from Utrecht marathon. He calls it ‘discouraging them to participate’ but you and I knows that they mean one of the same thing. I have four reasons why the motion is tomfoolery, an act of futility.

The first reason is consequentialist, by which I mean the effects or consequences of the motion. Utrecht has the power to ban Kenyans from the race but has no power to define the rule of athletics. That is the preserve of no one and everyone. I doubt the Dutch society would be so reckless to heed an eroded ideology. The Dutch nation has more to lose if accused of a re-bulging of the pre-independence apartheid policies of the Dutch in South Africa. The Kenyan runners have nothing to loose since they have solidified their position in the athletics hall of fame.

The second reason is instrumentalist, by which I mean the purpose of the motion. Whose instrument was the motion, and what was it meant to achieve? I should set the record straight.

I doubt whether Louran van Keulen was serious with the motion. My crystal ball tells me that a Dutch Battle is more of a ‘sympathetist’ approach than a true strategy to breed a winning squad. It is a mere attempt to for him to explain the dominance of the Kenyans on the Dutch soil and why he has not succeeded to conquer this dominance. I doubt whether van Keulen had any colonialist or imperialist motives although he needs to watch out. When a penumbra between rejection and acceptance develops, the beads of the necklace called tolerance worn by the Dutchies will start falling apart.

The third reason why the Dutch Battle motion is tomfoolery is the “boomerang effect”. This is when you shoot a bullet that ricochets and strikes you back. The motion so far created a bitter herb many at home and abroad have refused to chew. At home, Utrechtians feel the need to create motivational schemes for homegrown runners but are at odd with the strategy of banning the people who can best model the achievements they seek. Many Dutch people feel the strategy in not only absurd but a violation of sportsmanship ethos. This unequal prize opportunity scheme not only makes Utrecht look ‘discriminatory’ but also ill-advised from abroad. This explains the Tsunami of objections Louran van Keulen and his team are receiving.

The fourth, and last, reason is that the motion is an act of futility. Why? Because the motion – even if Louran van Keulen and the Dutchies were to cave in and approve the ban– would have zero effect on the passion and the pride of Kenyan runners. The world over agrees that in long distances, Kenyan athletes so far are the best the world can offer. They are the face of the game, they are the attraction of the masses and they are the gods and goddesses who sit on the throne of the pedigree.

My crystal ball tells me that the old fantasy of tolerance popular among the Dutch is under threat from emerging ideologies. This is not something the Dutchies are willing to let go without a fight. They believe tolerance is real, its not a fallacy.

Gert-Jan van Wijk, the Dutch businessman in Kenya is acting as though he has “heard the good news” and “seen the light”. Like the biblical Saul, the zealous Pharisee who intensely persecuted the followers of Jesus, Gert-Jan van Wijk is imitating Paul. His willingness to spend €9,900 on every non-Dutch winner might bring salvation to redeem the ‘sinful’ Utrecht!!

By Gerald Kweri

By Gerald Kweri | 18 April 2011 2:22 PM

If you know you cant compete, why show the world that you are stingy and self centred!

By Patrick Ayoyi | 18 April 2011 4:05 PM

RACISM - No other word for it. The people of Holland should stand up and do something about this. Disguting and petty minded fools.

By nicolas white | 18 April 2011 7:25 PM

This is discrimination of the highest order. Kudos to the Dutch citizen living in Kenya to top the cash in non-dutch wins.

By Charles Proud Kenyan | 20 April 2011 7:05 AM

This is very unfortunate and despite the many explanations,its simply racism.Different nationalities have different strengths,so why dont we celebrate diversity instead of discrimination.Big shame

By Chiri(kenyan) | 20 April 2011 4:20 PM

I´d be embarrassed enough to not want to take part in an event like that if I were a dutch runner.
I´d just feel overprotected like a child...or just stupid.

By Kiko | 23 April 2011 2:14 PM

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