It is a case of answered prayers for the family of Peter Kosgei who borrowed bus fare from a neighbour to travel to Nairobi to participate in last Sunday’s Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon.
The newly crowned StanChart marathon champion went to Nairobi a pauper and returned home a millionaire after beating other hundreds of contestants.
Kosgei is now raring to break the world marathon record in his next race by lowering it below the current two hours.
When FeverPitch visited his Chemwabul Village in Kerio escarpment in Keiyo South of Elgeyo Marakwet County on Tuesday, Kosgei, a father of two who comes from a humble background, was busy tidying the compound as neighbours, who sang praises at him, thronged the home to congratulate him for his recent victory.
“This victory has opened a way for me and I promise to lower the current world marathon record to under two hours,” said the camera-shy champion who finished third in the last edition of the Kass Marathon.
Buoyed by his victory, Kosgei, the first born in a family of five, expresses his determination to participate in a major marathon.
“I have been training here at home without proper facilities with my friend Laban Kipchumba, also a marathoner, but I managed the top position which I never imagined,” said Kosgei, 26.
He says he will use the money to build a decent house for his mother who has singly brought them up after their father died while they were at a tender age, and invest the remainder.
His wife Florence Cheruiyot, also a budding marathoner who had to stop her training to take care of their children, said the victory was a blessing to the family as it will deliver them from the yoke of poverty.
“I was forced to stop my training and look after our children and also use the little resources to buy the training facilities for my husband but occasionally, I would accompany him on training,” said Cheruiyot.
“My husband began his training by running around the farms without proper training schedule and I never imagined that one day he would upstage seasoned athletes and emerge victorious in such a major race,” she added.
“I was praying each day for a breakthrough and my prayers have been answered. I’m sure we are not going to suffer anymore,” she said.
Cheruiyot said the husband’s victory had motivated her and come next year, she will start training and follow in his footsteps to become the best in the list of those presenting the country at international races.
On her husband’s victory she says: “To tell the truth I didn’t expect my husband to win the race. I was in my house preparing food for my children when I received a call from him telling me that he was the winner. I shouted loudly and when neighbours heard of my voice, they rushed into the compound and joined me in celebration,” Cheruiyot said.
“I’m certain we can afford proper training kit and acquire more skills now that my husband can afford to purchase one,” she said.
The family is, however, still trying to find a manger and a coach. Nancy Kemei, a neighbour, said they are happy with thevictory.
Kosgei’s mother Rachel said: “I thank God for this kind of blessing. I have been straggling with my children for so many years since the demise of their father.”
Courtesy of standardmedia.co.ke