Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon winner and former Cherangany MP, says he has some ‘special’ races that shaped his athletics career.
In a Facebook live chat hosted by Australia-based Kenyan athlete Alfred ‘Sergent’ Koech, the former MP recounted how he started the 2008 Chicago Marathon with the mass runners when elite field were off and still ended up finishing fourth in 2:13.53.
“Before the race, I asked the race organisers to allow me to start the race with the elite but they refused. I had to follow the elite with masses five minutes later. I think it was a blessing in disguise. It was the best way for me to start my career. I ran under no pressure and elite runners were taken down by the Chicago heat,” said Korir.
In his second race at the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon, he won in 2:08:24. “I was not among the favourite, but I remember running alongside Benjamin Limo, who developed discomfort at the 38km and told me not to let the Ethiopian win the race as he drops out. I pushed hard and won my first marathon,” said Korir.
Korir is recovering from an injury but hopes to resume training. He is also keen bouncing back to Cherangany Constituency seat in 2022.
He is married to Canadian athlete Tarah McKay, his former teammate on the Louisville track and field team, in March 2010. They have a daughter named McKayla.
While a boy, Korir could run five miles (8km) each way to Bilbilbei Primary School and then back for lunch.
He performed well in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary School Examinations (KCSE) and secured admission at the University of Nairobi to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology but opted for a US track scholarship.
He landed on a Canadian track scholarship at the University of Louisville and that is where he met McKay.