The world is awash with songs about and performed by track and field athletes. We've picked our top ten. Stop whatever you’re doing and get your groove on.
1. Machakos Kyalo – Run Caleb Ndiku
It's the smash hit that the running world can't stop talking about. Kenyan rapper Machakos Kyalo's early contender for sickest beat of 2016 features 3000m world indoor champion and last year's 5000m world silver medallist Caleb Ndiku. The video is memorable for Ndiku's slick dance moves, while the song will go down in history for lyrics like these:
No On Sale signs just tears and hard work
For whatever you want to get,
So I'm running for the gold,
The only person that can stop me is truly just God.
But he helped me get this far,
No one thought I'd be a track star,
Now people see me in sport cars,
Trust that you are what you are.
2. Atsede Baysa – Oromigna
Ethiopian distance runner Atsede Baysa won team silver at the 2007 World Road Running Championships in Udine and won the Paris Marathon in 2009 and 2010. In 2011 she released this gem before going on to win the Chicago Marathon the following year.
3. Khaligraph Jones – Yego
On a recent holiday in Kenya, one SPIKES correspondent asked his taxi driver if he had heard this song. He knew every word. And you should, too.
They giving it up 'cause we promise
To buy them a pair of stilletos
But really they just want the stick
'Cause they know that I throw it like Yego
4. Tapio Rautavaara – Juokse Sinä Humma (English: Run, Horse, Run)
Tapio Rautavaara, the 1948 Olympic javelin champion, was actually better known as a singer and actor. Juokse Sinä Humma is just one hit from his vast discography.
5. DeeDee Trotter – Pass the Baton
How this song hasn’t become the official anthem of the IAAF World Relays yet we do not know. What we do know: we can’t get it out of our heads!
Runnin’ down the backstraight watch me do what I do.
If I run up on you, then you know that we’ll be through.
You gotta pass it right to left,
Don’t make me lose a step,
Stay up in your lane,
Don’t you mess up this exchange.
(skip to 3:45 for the song)
6. Brookhouse – Rudisha
According to their YouTube channel, Brookhouse (Backhouse?) School Students Steven Njoroge and Patrick Njuguna co-wrote this as a tribute to Kenya's world and Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha months before London 2012. The smooth guitars are a fitting tribute to the world record holder's silky form.
7. YG ft. Will Claye – IDGAF
Olympic triple jump silver and long jump bronze medallist Will Claye gets his rap on. Those medallions would make Flavor Flav jealous.
8. (Artist Unknown) – Keshorn Walcott
Olympic javelin champion Keshorn Walcott has inspired a whole wave of Caribbean dance hits. As the artist behind 2013 smash Javelin puts it: “We are trying to have Mr Keshorn Walcott’s name go up in lights and honour in 2013, not only in sports but in art & music, where the world is tuning in to look at our carnival."
See also: Gold by Exodus Steel Orchestra feat. Machel Montano.
9. DJ Steve Porter ft. Usain Bolt – Faster Than Lightning
No matter who you are,
No matter what you’re doing,
You’re not gonna catch me,
You’re not gonna beat me.
The great man's words in 2012 turned out to be just as true in 2015.
10. Carl Lewis and The Electric Storm – Break It Up
Completing our top ten is this 1987 hit by nine-time Olympic and eight-time world champion Carl Lewis. Inspirational stuff, we're sure you'll agree.
Let’s all work together
You can’t win on your own
Make up your mind
Join in while you still can
Once or another
You gotta give it a try
Better join the whole wide world
Make a human chain
And never break it up