Dennis Kimetto received a hero’s welcome on his return to Kenya after breaking the world record at the Berlin Marathon this year. It is reported that his wife was watching her husband’s victory on television in Kenya and she was so overcome with emotion that she actually passed out. Kimetto was presented with flowers, garlands and a traditional African calabash containing cow’s milk when he arrived at Nairobi airport. Kimetto is absolutely delighted that he broke the world record, but he was surprised that it happened. He completed his winning run in 2:02:57 and told reporters that “I went to Berlin to just compete but I thank God that I have come back as a world record holder. It was a surprise.” Kimetto took home prize money of $157,000, $50,000 of which was for breaking the world record.
Dennis Kimetto was born in Eldoret, Kenya on 22nd January 1984. Eldoret is the largest town in Kenya’s Rift Valley and is home to most Kenyan runners. Prior to becoming one of the top marathon runners in the world, Kimetto was a subsistence farmer in his home town. He enjoyed running but generally only ran around seven kilometres (four miles) a day, that is until he bumped into Geoffrey Mutai. Kimetto only began running in 2010 and was fortunate enough to meet Geoffrey Mutai, who invited him to join his elite training group which practised in Kapng’etuny, near Eldoret. This group, not only includes Geoffrey Mutai but also Wilson Kipsang. The average personal best between these three athletes is a staggering 02:03:07.
DEBUT MARATHON - BERLIN MARATHON 2012
In 2012, Kimetto made his debut by running the Berlin Marathon and it was the fastest debut ever on a record eligible course – only one second behind Mutai’s 2:04:16.
KIMETTO GIVES BACK
Dennis Kimetto has made a substantial amount of money not only from running but from public appearances and he generously gives back to his community in Kenya. There are new churches and schools which have been built by Kimetto and he also has a foundation to help aspiring athletes. “I also help young athletes who are at the start of their running career, because they are now like I also used to be in the past and I know how important it is to be helped at the start. In the future they are the world record holders and champions, so I find it important to help them.” If you are planning on running a marathon, remember to wear a reflective running belt or a reflective running vest for maximum visibility.