How Kiprop quenched 42km Iten title thirst

Luke Kiprop after winning 42 km men race during Iten International Marathon Second addition held at Iten town in Elgeyo Marakwet County. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Luke Kiprop, winner of the second edition of Iten International Marathon on Sunday, was a herder who topped the race on borrowed shoes.

A media-shy Kiprop has been under the guidance of coach Eric Kogo and has been training alongside World 10,000m silver medallist Daniel Simiu in Iten.

On Monday, a day after the stunning win at the Iten international marathon, Kiprop, a 42km debutant was still basking in glory.

But the sheep herder was still surprised of outclassing a stellar field in the men’s race.

He showed up at a training camp in Iten where he joined Simiu and other stars in training.

“I didn’t know I could win. It was my first race. I have never won a race before. The coach asked me to try and I used the opportunity to display my potential,” Kiprop said.

“I was just a herder but I decided to persevere in training.”

He left his coach Eric Kogo to do much of the talking hours after winning the Iten race.

Kogo said the win will earn him his first Kenyan passport and a manager who signed him recently is already organising a race for him.

“Kiprop does not have a passport. He joined a management recently and he was asked to take part in a local race and finish in the top ten. We are now in the process of helping him get a passport in readiness for international competitions,” said Kogo.

The coach said Kiprop came to his training camp and asked to join other big shots led by Simiu in training.

Kogo said he established he was coming from a humble background.

“I stayed with him as my son. I live with him in my house. I have never known who is parents are,” Kogo said.

He said the new champion likes taking care of cows and sheep after training.

“He joined us in camp three years ago. I saw his potential and determination to run and take athletics as a career,” Kogo said.

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