While people will not be able to literally walk a mile in Kenyan runner Robert Kigen's shoes, they will be able to do something very close to it today.
They can meet with Kigen and learn about his life and struggles at 6:15 p.m. at Mentor Public Library's main branch. Afterward, they -- along with members from the Northeast Running Club -- can run alongside him to Garfield Park.
Kigen and film producer Martin Mudry of University Heights are coming to the library to promote the documentary "Where Dreams Don't Fade," which is an intimate portrait of the trials faced by Kenyan men and women who dream of a better life through running.
Kigen is featured in the documentary. It depicts his struggle to overcome injuries and chase his goal of becoming an elite runner.
The Cleveland International Film Festival will show the documentary from Thursday through April 1.
Mudry will talk about his experiences making the film in Kenya and Kigen will discuss his relationship to running while growing up in the country. A question and answer session will be held after the presentation.
"From the beginning, the goal of this project was to put a face on ‘Kenyan Runners.’ Most people have heard of Kenya through the runners that win major races, but few know why they run and what their life back home is really like," Mudry said.
"We are very proud to provide a window into their world through the film and host events where members of the community can talk first hand with an athlete and learn about their fascinating lives."
NERC President Sean Hensely said the club supports the documentary about long distance runners produced by a Cleveland local who looked beyond the "Kenyan running mythos."
"Even more exciting is the chance to make a personal connection with Martin, one of the directors, and Robert, one of the feature runners in the film," he said.
Kigen said he is looking forward to meeting everyone at the Mentor Public Library program who is interested in learning more about Kenya and its runners
"I am happy to be a part of this film in order to expose Kenyan Athletics to the rest of the world," he said. "It's great that the film will be shown at the Cleveland International Film Festival."