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Kenyan-born Tuliamuk draws inspiration from Kipchoge

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Kenyan-born Tuliamuk draws inspiration from Kipchoge - Sports Leo

Kenyan-born American marathoner Aliphine Tuliamuk says she draws inspiration from men’s world record holder Eliud Kipchoge.

Kenyan Kipchoge holds the record in the men’s marathon, setting the mark at 2:01:39 in Berlin in 2018.

Both Tuliamuk and Kipchoge were on the same Kenyan cross country team in 2005.

“I think very few of us from that 2005 Kenyan cross country are still going strong today and knowing that I have that in common with Eliud, that’s something,” Tuliamuk told Olympic Channel.

Tuliamuk became an American citizen in 2016 and qualified for the women’s US marathon team for the Tokyo Olympics which were to be held in July before the event was postponed to next year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Eliud is incredible. You see a lot of marathoners come and go. But Eliud has been in the sport for a very, very long time. And he has been very consistent. He’s always improving and continues to get better.”

While the postponement of the Olympics would have come as a blow for Tuliamuk, she acknowledged sport was not a priority for the world right now.

“I was very disappointed in the beginning. It was hard. But then, you know, once I got over that, a lot of things came into perspective. I realised that my problems were not so big compared to what a lot of people are going through.”

Growing up in Kenya predisposed children to become good runners explained Tuliamuk.

“Running was something that we had to do to go to school, to go get water, and when we went to herd the animals.”

Since the Olympics has been postponed, Tuliamuk has had to dial back her intense training plan.

“If this was a normal year, I would be doing some serious workouts now. But because we won’t race anytime soon, I am doing easy workouts. So that is the only change that we’ve made so far. Some days I can say I’m going to take a day off, or I’m tired just because there’s no race on the horizon.”

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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