Kenyan William Kipsang wants his kids to study, not run

Jan 13, 2012, 09:24 IST | Sundari Iyer
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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