Athletics Kenya (AK) is the governing body for the sport of athletics (track and field) in Kenya. It is a member of the IAAF and Confederation of African Athletics. AK organises athletics competitions held in Kenya. It also sends Kenyan teams to international championships. Isaiah Kiplagat is the current chairman of Athletics Kenya. AK is headquartered in Riadha House, next to Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi.
Athletics (track and field) in Kenya was governed by an organization known as Kenya Amateur Athletics Association (KAAA) from 1951 until 2002 when the organization changed the name to Athletics Kenya (AK). Arthur (Archie) Evans is credited for starting organized athletics and forming Kenya Amateur Athletics Association (KAAA) in 1951. Evans became the secretary of the newly formed KAAA and the late Sir Derek Erskine became its first chairman.
Kenya is a powerful nation in Athletics, but the talent is limited to long and middle distance running. Famous Kenyan runners typically come from districts like Keiyo, Marakwet and Nandi in western Kenya. Almost all of them represent Kalenjin tribes.
Kenyan Championships are held in summer, but separate trials are used to pick athletes for major international championships. Top Kenyan athletes usually attend these events, since those who skip them are likely miss major championships as well. Many leading Kenyan runners mostly compete in Europe, national championships and trials are the only event where local spectators can see them competing.
Other competitions organised by AK include series of track and cross-country meetings and number of road races. Kenya hosts three annual marathon events. Nairobi Marathon is the youngest, but is now leading in competitiveness and participation. Others are Mombasa Marathon and Great Lake Marathon, which is held in Kisumu. Additionally, there is a competition known as a Lewa Marathon, which involves races equal to full (42 km) and half marathon, but it is a cross-country race and thus cannot be classified as a marathon. Nevertheless, the half marathon event of Lewa Marathon has allured many Kenyan international runner and the event has been won by Paul Tergat, Catherine Ndereba and Joyce Chepchumba in recent years.
Many Kenyan runners are affiliated to governmental organisations like Armed Forces, Kenya Prisons or Kenya Police, which provide livelihood as well as training. In addition there are several private athletics clubs, like Mfae (based in Nyahururu) and Kiptenden (based in Kericho).
Athletics Kenya operates an Athletics Museum in Riadha House, Nairobi. The museum was opened on November 1, 2006.
- Derek Erskine (1950–1964)
- Musembi Mbathi (1964–1968)
- Bartonjo Rotich (1968–1972)
- Charles Mukora (1972–1974)
- Sam Ongeri (1974–1984)
- Paul Boit (1984–1992)
- Isaiah Kiplagat (1992-)
- Mr. Derek: The racing guru who started amateur athletics in Kenya
- Informative site about Kenyan women runners
- Athletics Kenya Chairmen
- Ward, T. T. (2001). Gold in the hills: it is over 50 years since the beginnings of organised athletics in Kenya. Arthur Evans was the man who started it all, launching the Kenya AAAs, taking teams to major championships and for 20 years developing the sport. Now he can look back with pride at what he started, as he told Tony Ward. Athletics Weekly, 55(24), 22-23.
- Kenya Times, November 1, 2006: Kamanda happy with AK’s SColour and pomp at Soya Gala h6m museum
- The Standard February 23, 2007 Kipchirchir, Jepkosgei named Soya winners
- The Standard, December 12, 2009: Colour and pomp at Soya Gala
- SOYA Awards - Winner 2010
- Kenyan Athlete
- Athletics Kenya
- Athletics Kenya Museum
- List of Kenyan Championships winners