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Articles tagged #Shadrack Kipchirchir
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Without a lot of fanfare, Shadrack Kipchirchir has emerged as one of American’s premier distance runners today. The current U.S. Cross Country champion, Kipchirchir won the US 10-mile and 5K championships in 2018.
Kipchirchir has been quietly, methodically laying a solid distance foundation since he graduated from Oklahoma State in 2014. He made the World Championship team at 10,000 meters in 2015 and 2017 (where he set a PB and #3 all-time US mark of 27:07), the Olympic team in 2016, and World Cross Country in 2017. But often, he’s finished as the bridesmaid.
If nothing else, however, he’s patient. And he always has a plan.
Back in 2016, Shadrack Kipchirchir and his wife, Elvin Kibet, already had a house, a car, plants in the window, Kipchirchir’s Olympic jersey on the wall. He had a job and a running career. He had investments. For a 27-year-old who’d arrived in this country as a college freshman carrying a suitcase only six years prior, he was impressively established. Not flashy but solid, bankable. Circumstances like that don’t just happen.
His success has not been built in a flash of glory, but patiently, brick by brick.
The middle child of nine in Eldoret, Kenya, Kipchirchir’s earliest dreams were pragmatic—no soccer star or rumbling truck driver for young Shadrack. “As a kid, I wanted to be a civil engineer,” says Kipchirchir, who majored in construction engineering at Oklahoma State. “I loved to make things out of mud and wires—roads and bridges and buildings.”
Unlike their American cohorts, few Kenyans run in high school, he explains. “St. Patrick’s in Iten is an exception. Most Kenyan high schools don’t support running at all. It’s a boarding school—you live there—and you do sports for fun, not competitively. I played a lot of soccer.”
In fact, Kipchirchir’s first experience with running came after high school in 2009 when he joined a training camp with others hoping to earn an athletic scholarship from a US college. It was a path his older brother had already taken.
“In Kenya, you have to pay for school,” he says, “but if you get a scholarship to the US, you get free tuition. It’s a pretty good deal. Most Kenyans run to get a college education, but it was not easy—you had to run fast and do good in school. You had to balance training and studying.”
His efforts paid off. Nine months later, Kipchirchir was offered a scholarship at Western Kentucky. He was All-American in cross country as a freshman.(03/26/2019) ⚡AMP
The two-time defending champion headlines the elite men’s field entering Saturday’s 42nd annual Gate River Run through downtown Jacksonville, the national 15-kilometer championship for USA Track and Field.
With one more victory, the 32-year-old Leonard Korir can join a select club as winners of three straight men’s titles. Only Todd Williams (1994-96), Meb Keflezighi (2001-04) and Ben True (2013-15) have previously accomplished the feat.
Race director Doug Alred said he’s hoping to see a tight contest, and he feels the odds this year are good.
“It’s not that exciting when one person just runs away with it,” he said. “If the leaders can just stay together onto the Hart Bridge, that would be great.”
So far, that’s been the case in Korir’s past two victories. His 2017 win was the event’s closest finish ever, edging Shadrack Kipchirchir to the finish line by a fraction of a second.
Despite his record in Jacksonville and his international achievements at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, there’s reason to believe that Korir is far from a lock to repeat Saturday.
Unlike 2017 and 2018, he did not win the USATF cross country championships, held this time in Tallahassee on Feb. 2. Instead, he took third, while Kipchirchir beat him out by five seconds.
In addition to Kipchirchir, 2016 champion Stanley Kebenei returns, coming off a fifth-place finish in the cross country finals.(03/08/2019) ⚡AMP
The Gate River Run (GRR) was first held in 1978, formerly known as the Jacksonville River Run, is an annual 15-kilometer road running event in Jacksonville, Fla., that attracts both competitive and recreational runners -- in huge numbers! One of the great running events in America, it has been the US National 15K Championship since 1994, and in 2007...more...