Switzerland’s Julien Wanders very much at home in Iten Kenya

Switzerland’s long distance running star Julien Wanders fell in love with Iten in 2014 when he was just 18 years old, and later found the love of his life in that land.

On that first visit, he told his parents he wanted to be training in Kenya, and that wish came to pass.

So smitten was Wanders, the European Half Marathon record holder, that when the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, he decided to remain in Iten and continue with his individual training, following the guidelines set by the government of Kenya after all the camps were closed.

“I had the chance to go back home to be with my family but decided to stay here,” he said.

“I have a perfect opportunity to train here alone as we focus on the next season which we are not sure when it will start. I’m happy that the government of Kenya reacted early enough to fight the spread of the virus unlike other countries,” said Wanders, who is under the Global Sports Communications stable.

He hails his girlfriend Joan Jepkorir for supporting him during his training.

“Of course another reason why I decided to remain was because of my girlfriend who I have been dating for the last three years. She has been helping me very much in my training,” he added.

Jepkorir, a graduate of Kenyatta University, also runs a restaurant in Iten.

Wanders, has been training in Iten for the past six years and the love for running made him pack his bags and head to the North Rift region that is teeming with world beaters.

Wanders is under coach Marco Jaeger, who is based in Geneva.

“It has been a long journey for me since I started training in Iten and I am focused to improve my performance after choosing the place as my second home. I have achieved a lot and my performance has improved tremendously,” he said.

posted Thursday April 16th
by Bernard Rotich