group's genetic makeup over the course of a few centuries." As Manners emphasizes, this is a speculation, not a proof, as to how the Kalenjin got to be so fleet of foot. International sports events are an effective way of showing up even slight differences between races, and between ethnic groups within races, because of the way that physical characteristics tend to be distributed in a population. Most members of a population are of average height, very few are of dwarf or giant stature. If one population is very slightly taller than another, the difference might hardly be noticeable in comparing average members of each population. But if you hold a competition for the ten tallest people, all 10 may come from the slightly taller population since in this case it is the extreme, not the average, that is being compared.

The fact that different races or ethnic groups tend to excel at different sports—Africans at track, Chinese at ping pong, Europeans at weight-lifting—is not proof in itself of any genetic component but just a starting point that hints at possible genes to look for.

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