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The Tale Of Sammy Wanjiru’s Pacemaker

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Aug. 3, 2011
  • Updated Aug. 4, 2011 at 8:49 AM UTC
Pacemaker Peter Cheruiyot Kirui hopes to win a medal this month in Daegu, South Korea. Photo: The Standard

Pacemaker Peter Cheruiyot Kirui hopes to win a medal this month in Daegu, South Korea. Photo: The Standard

He is now running for himself and hopes to medal at Worlds.

Many pacemakers for world-class runners such as Sammy Wanjiru fly under the radar. They are the running equivalent of the cycling world’s domestiques–hard-working athletes with one mission: help the team leader win the race.

The Standard website recently profiled one pacemaker who is stepping out of the shadows and into the limelight: Peter Cheruiyot Kirui. The Kenyan set the pace for late Olympic gold medalist Sammy Wanjiru in the 2010 edition of the Chicago Marathon. He also assisted Patrick Makau in the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon.

But this year, Kirui made a New Year’s resolution for himself: run a qualifying time to make the Kenyan national team for the World Championships in Athletics that are kicking off later this month in Daegu, South Korea.

He did just that last month at the Kenyan National Championships when he clocked 27:32 in the 10,000m.

“I could not believe I had met one of my New Year resolutions,” he said afterward.

After the World Championships, Kirui plans to focus on marathon training as he prepares for the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon.

For More: The Standard

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com 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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