She is only 20 years old and needs to win races to support her family.
She is far, far away from her husband. She’s separated from her tribe, too. But those hardships aren’t stopping Kenyan runner Caroline Kirui from coming to the United States.
She’s here to race on the roads and make some money to take home to her family.
Kirui is only 20 years old and is visiting the U.S. on a tourist visa. She is hoping to run distances from the 5K to the marathon and earn enough so that she can bring her husband, Weldon, also an elite runner, to the U.S. to visit and run. Kirui is staying as the guest of elite distance runner Brad Poore.
Poore had trained three times at a distance camp in the Rift Valley and can relate to how Kirui feels being separated from family and friends. In the past three years, he has brought several Kenyan runners to the U.S. in what has become an informal running exchange program.
“This is Caroline’s first trip and she doesn’t have a sponsor yet,” Poore said. “The objective is to go home with enough money so that she’s able to come back and make enough to help her family and support her running. If she can go home with a couple of thousand dollars [this time], it’d be good.”
For More: The Kansas City Star