Julius Kiptoo: Farmer And Professional Runner

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jul. 18, 2011

Farmer runner Julius Kiptoo won the Johnnycake Jog last Sunday. Photo: News-Herald.

He grows corn and wheat back home in Kenya.

Kenyan road racer Julius Kiptoo isn’t just a runner; he doesn’t spend all his time lacing up his running shoes and hitting the roads and track. He does something else: farming.

Last sunday, Kiptoo, 33, won the 35th annual Johnnycake Jog in Ohio. He crossed the line in 23:43, becoming the 14th running in the race’s history to dip under 24 minutes for the 5-mile course.

Kiptoo lives near Toledo, Ohio and has been a professional runner for 14 years. In the late fall, he will return to his native Kenya and harvest his crops. He grows corn and wheat. He also owns cows.

“I’m not adjusted to the cold, so I have to go back to Kenya,” he said.

But the race-day temps were anything but cold. When the race started at 8:30 a.m., the thermometer was already at 88 degrees Fahrenheit. “We don’t have this terrible heat in Kenya,” Kiptoo said. “It’s hot, but not like this.”

Kiptoo has been to the Kenyan Olympic Trials twice, but failed to make the team.

For More: The New-Herald

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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