Kenyan William Kipsang wants his kids to study, not run

Deprived of education in his childhood, elite Kenyan marathoner William Kipsang wants his kids to...

William Kipsang of Kenya took up running to earn a better living, but he doesn't want his kids to be athletes. Rather he wants them to take formal education. Kipsang, a school drop-out, doesn't want his six-year-old son Ryan and four-year-old daughter Winnie to follow in his footsteps.

William Kipsang of Kenya is here to take part in the Mumbai Marathon
scheduled for Sunday. Pic/Bipin Kokate

"I dropped out of school when I was in Class IV. After that I didn't have much to do in life. I repent for not having studied further. But I want my kids to attend university so that they can have a better life," Kipsang told MiD DAY. Kipsang hails from Kipsangwi, a village 30 kms away from Eldoret town that has produced many marathon runners.

He attributed his success to his father Joseph, who used to earn a living by driving cabs. "My father used to run the household with the money he earned driving a cab, but that wasn't enough for him to take good care of seven of us (five brothers and two sisters). He used to always ask me to work, but I didn't know anything apart from running. Without his support I don't think I could have achieved anything," he added.

While elite athletes' co-ordinators, Ian Ladbroke and Tim Hutchins rate him as one of the favourites to win the ninth edition of the Mumbai Marathon, Kipsang aims to finish the 42-km race in two hours eight minutes. "I started participating in the marathon only in 1999 as a 22-year-old.

I am participating in a competitive event after a two-year lay-off. I suffered a hamstring injury in my right leg soon after winning the Rotterdam Marathon in 2008. It was my personal best timing (2:05:49). Here, I aim to finish clocking 2:08 or 2: 09,"
Kipsang said.

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