About Your Hosts - Hilda Kibet & Hugo van den Broek
Hugo and Hilda live in Iten together with their three daughters Emma, Amber and Remy. They built their house and The Lodge on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, overlooking lakes and distant mountains.
Hilda was born in Kenya and moved to The Netherlands in 2001 (at the age of 20) to study physiotherapy. After finishing her Bachelor's degree at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam, she quickly improved her running level so much, that she decided to put her career as a physio on a hold in order to focus on her running career. In 2007 Hilda, after passing all the necessary exams, managed to obtain Dutch citizenship. She then went on to represent The Netherlands on numerous occasions, including at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, the 2010 European Athletics Championships where she won a bronze medal in the 10,000m and the 2008 European Cross-Country Championships which she won! She has also run times of 67 minutes for a half marathon and 2h24 for a marathon. Hilda won numerous big road races, including the New York half marathon and the New York 10K.
Hugo has been running seriously since 1992 (at the age of 15). Within one year of training he managed to become one of the best junior athletes in the Netherlands. This sparked in him a lifelong love for running. Between 1994 and 2000 Hugo studied Human Movement Sciences (M.Sc.) as well as Pedagogy/Special Education (M.Sc) in Amsterdam. Immediately after his graduation, he decided to follow his dream and travel to Kenya to experience the Kenyan culture and train with some of the world's best runners. It was during his stay that he met his wife, Hilda. Between 2002 and 2014 Hugo was one of the best Dutch distance runners, specialising in the marathon. He competed at the European Championships in 2006 and again in 2010. His best performances are 28.51 for 10k, 1.03.26 for a half marathon and 2.12.08 for a marathon.
By the end of 2014, both Hugo and Hilda stopped running competitively. They now love to run for fun (and occasionally for a hard workout!) in their home town of Iten. Hilda loves to spend time with her family, plant trees (since 2012 she planted over 10,000 trees!) and be busy with her foundation - Kibet4Kids. Hugo started coaching voluntarily in 2009, in order to help Kenyan student-runners get a scholarship in the USA. In 2014 this became more serious when Global Sports Communication (famous for the NN running team) offered him a job as the head coach of the Elite Distance Running Programme in India. Besides that, Hugo coached some talented Kenyan women. Among them Gladys Chesir who ran a World Best Performance on the 10K in 2015. Hugo is also a dedicated online running coach, coaching runners of all levels from all over the world.
Since retiring as professional athletes Hugo and Hilda's vision has been to create high quality and affordable accommodation in Iten, allowing runners from all over the world to experience training in the Home of Champions just as they did.