By Jonathan Komen
She left her motherland and headed to the Netherlands in 1998 with a dream –stir local girls’ latent.
The facility, which is an exclusive women’s institution, will have a synthetic eight-lane 400m tartan track, which will be ready by May 1 and will be used by athletes preparing for this year’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
It is the third privately-owned track in the world after the ones owned by Ethiopia’s multiple record holder Kenenisa Bekele and world 100m and 200m all-time best Usain Bolt of Jamaica.
Kiplagat said the women-only pre-university campus will be high quality and an example for Africa in a concept to be emulated by many other organisations.
“It was actually to reach top level as woman due to the many obstacles. And the idea is to give talented girls an opportunity to train under the most ideal conditions,” said Kiplagat, a four-time world half marathon winner and former 21km record holder.
Kiplagat, who began training while herding goats in the forest at her rural home in Kipsaos in Keiyo South, said dream has come to pass.
Great Britain’s Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion Mo Farah, double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot and world 800m record holder David Rudisha were among a host of elite athletes who attended the function.
Cheruiyot paid glowing tribute to Kiplagat, saying she inspired most Kenyan female athletes.