Kenyan-born American runner's dream of running a marathon close to realisation

ATHLETICS Kenyan-born American runner's dream of running a marathon close to realisation

Abigael Wafula 09:59 - 27.01.2024

Kenyan-born American runner Paul Chelimo has confirmed where he will be making his full marathon as he trains in Kenya in preparation for the assault.

Kenyan-born American Paul Chelimo’s dream of running a full marathon is now getting closer after he confirmed his participation at the US Olympic Marathon Trials on February 3 in Orlando.

The 2016 Rio Olympics 5000m silver medallist shared the great news on his Instagram page, expressing his excitement about having to compete at such a prestigious event.

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He shared a video of himself running and captioned it: “Ever since I was kid, I dreamed of running a marathon…The day has come-this is it.”

The delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics 5000m bronze medallist is now stepping off the track and onto the roads for his next challenge.

The 33-year-old qualified for the event after clocking 1:02:22 at a half marathon last April in Berlin. He also ran the New York City Half Marathon in 2019, finishing third in 1:02:19.

Chelimo’s name popped up on the list of people who had entered the Trials after the qualifying window closed on December 5. His agent, Riad Ouled, told Runner’s World in a message that a decision about whether Chelimo would run would be forthcoming by mid-January.

Chelimo has been training in Kenya as he gears up for the tough challenge that will certainly not be easy on him. He is expected to arrive in Orlando on January 29.

The American men have, to date, only two guaranteed spots in the marathon at the Olympics. For Chelimo to make the Olympic team on February 3, he would have to finish first or second in a time faster than 2:11:30.

His presence in the field injects another layer of intrigue in the men’s race, especially if he’s in the mix in the final stretch.

Meanwhile, Chelimo’s races on the track have often had their share of drama after being initially disqualified from the 5000m at the 2016 Olympics before being reinstated.

Also, at the Olympic Trials in 2021, which he won, he repeatedly gestured at his competitors to give him space after he was clipped from behind.

And he drifted out into Lane 5 to prevent Grant Fisher and Woody Kincaid from passing him before the line. (Both runners said after the race they thought Chelimo’s tactics were fair.)