The casual eye at last Sunday’s ‘Beyond Zero’ fun run in Karura Forest would have merely seen Mrs Margaret Kenyatta as the good old First Lady who was bitten by the athletics bug that saw her run in this year’s London Marathon.

But an eye for design didn’t fail to notice the huge fashion statement that Mama Margaret, her sister-in-law Mrs Nyokabi Muthama, Chief of Staff Mrs Connie Gakonyo and Mrs Florence Awori of the First Lady’s office were making.

The four “marathon ladies” were clad in apparel from the freshly-launched Lornah women’s sporting line unveiled last weekend in Amsterdam by Kenyan-born Dutch distance running superstar Lornah Kiplagat.

The Lornah sporting label was created by Kiplagat and her Dutch husband Pieter Langerhorst, a former marketing chief at American sportswear company, Saucony.

It features a heavy African design with an inscription, in fine print, of the Kenyan national anthem.


“As a professional athlete, I didn’t like the colours and designs of the sportswear I’ve always used and I thought to myself that I needed to come up with something exciting,” Kiplagat said from Amsterdam where her new line was launched on the sidelines of the Amsterdam Marathon at the Olympic Stadium in the Dutch capital.

Kiplagat confirmed that she will launch the line in the Kenyan market in December. “We had a stand at the Amsterdam Marathon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the reception was humbling,” Kiplagat added.

“The Dutch people said they loved the authentic African design and they say it is different, feminine and looks good.”

Langerhorst was equally excited. “People are very enthusiastic about the kit and bought it immediately. Also, our webs hop went crazy the whole weekend and today,” he said on Friday.

Lornah’s tailors took measurements of the First Lady, Mrs Nyokabi, Mrs Gakonyo and Mrs Awori in Kenya before tailor-making the quartet’s gear at the new line’s factory in Turkey.

“The development of this sportswear line has taken us two years and I’m extremely happy we pulled it off,” said Kabiemit (Keiyo) born Kiplagat, winner of three IAAF World Half Marathon Championship titles and a gold medallist at the 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa.

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