Olympian Chelimo opts to train in Kenya over US
Kenya-born America Olympian Paul Chelimo is back in the country for training as he prepares to compete at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States of America (USA) in July this year.
The 2016 Olympic 5000m silver medalist Chelimo said it is good to train at his ancestral soil because it has the perfect weather conditions to train at ahead of a world event.
“I’m here to train and prepare for the forthcoming championships which will take place in Eugene Oregon. As you know currently in America, there is a very cold spring, one is not able to train in such conditions and remember this is home and the home of champions,” Chelimo said.
Chelimo, who played football in high school before he turned to athletics, reminisces about how good he was in football as a defensive midfielder in both Simotwo High School and Chebyemit Boys football teams in Elgeyo Marakwet county.
He said that playing in that roming position made him realized that he can be a good runner.
“I’m one of the all-successful athletes, who come from Elgeyo Marakwet. People could not believe I will run, I was a football player, a midfielder to be precise, which really increased my endurance. It has been a journey,” Chelimo said.
In 2010 he got a scholarship to study in America and later he acquired US citizenship as he joined the USA army. He added that training in Kenya is really important at this point mainly for buildup.
“My main goal is to perform in Eugene. Being in my country (USA), and I consider it to be my home ground, I should be able to perform very well”
He said that in freezing condition, trainings are not as responsive as they would here in Kenya where the weather is relatively warm. I am in Kenya for buildup and when I return to the US, I will mainly work on my speed.
“Training with other marathoners has helped me to build endurance in the long run. In terms of speed, I have improved significantly and I am really excited about that,” Chelimo said.
Chelimo said that he wears his headphones while racing to boost his confidence as he is a lover of hip-hop music.
Ugali served with beef stew is his favourite meal when he is preparing for the track to get the tons of energy to propel him.
Chelimo said he has two years of active running on the track before he can decide to move to the marathon.
He noted that the longer one stays on the track and perform the better, citing marathon legendary run Eliud Kipchoge, who stayed on the track longer before shifting to marathon.
Chelimo said, “I want to take it slow though there is a lot of money in marathon, I don’t want to be greedy. Sometimes being greedy is not good in athletics, am planning to run marathon for longer.”