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Ex-herdsman turned marathon runner: Timothy Kiplangat’s rise to the top

Not long ago, Timothy Kiplangat was earning a meagre Sh2,500 per month, taking care of athletics coach Nahashon Kibon’s livestock in Eldoret’s Upper Hill area.

But with encouragement from Kibon, Kiplangat started training as a runner in 2016. Fast forward to 2021 and Kiplangat has made a name for himself in the world of marathon running.

Kiplangat’s first breakthrough came when he finished third at the Eindhoven Marathon in The Netherlands, achieving a personal best time of two hours, seven minutes, and one second.

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Since then, he has won the Abu Dhabi and Melbourne Marathon in Australia, with his best time now standing at an impressive 2:03:50.

Despite narrowly missing out on the top spot at the Rotterdam Marathon, Kiplangat remains optimistic about his chances of representing Kenya in August in the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

With the support of his coach Nicholas Koech Chemogas and training partners Elisha Kipchirchir and Joel Kimurer, Kiplangat is ready to take on the world’s best marathon runners.

Reflecting on the chilly and cloudy conditions at the Rotterdam Marathon, Kiplangat said, “When I saw the morning drizzle, I knew it would be tough but all of a sudden, the conditions changed as we got to the halfway mark. I knew Bashir and Nageeye were both strong so I wanted to push so that I can live to fight in the latter stages of the race, but I failed to drop Bashir who kept narrowing the gap.”

Despite missing out on the win, Kiplangat is proud of his best time and hopes that Athletics Kenya selectors will allow him to represent his country at the World Championships.

From herding livestock to becoming a world-class marathon runner, Kiplangat’s rise to the top is inspirational.

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