Running enthusiasts are weird, especially those training-for-the-marathon types. Even weirder: what one well-off SoHo man received as a birthday gift: As the NYT tells us: a Kenyan runner.

An actual Kenyan, from Africa or wherever. Mr. Chambers, an Internet and media investor, often exchanges lavish gifts with his wife. However, he didn't get to keep the Kenyan! His wife merely rented him out for a run:

But for a truly one-of-a-kind gift, nothing could beat what Michael Chambers received for his 40th birthday on Thursday: a world-class runner from Kenya for a day.

...Kiplagat was paid $400 to run with Chambers and have lunch with his family. A driver in a Lincoln Town Car picked him up at dawn at his home in New Milford, N.J., and returned him late in the afternoon... He admitted to being surprised when his manager called last week, saying an odd request had been made through the New York Road Runners: someone wanted to hire a Kenyan runner.

How did Mr. Chambers like his present, post-run? “It’s literally like running next to a cheetah." We have no words.

For our birthday gift, we'd prefer a Sherpa guide, the kind who can help us navigate unemployed life in New York or minefield-y cocktail parties. Or a pony, either one.

A Moving 40th Birthday Gift [NYT]