The rise of marathon star Rosemary Wanjiru

Tuesday, June 6th, 2023 09:40 | By
The rise of Rosemary Wanjiru, rising woman marathon star now part of Team Kenya to World Championships
Rosemary Wanjiru - marathon star now part of Team Kenya to World Championships

Inspired by the great Mary Keitany, Rosemary Wanjiru Monica (pictured)  is living her long-term dream to race for Kenya in the women’s marathon at the World Athletics Championships. She has made it via a world lead time this year of 2:16:28.

Running in her second Major Marathon in the streets of Japan’s capital on March 5, Wanjiru clocked the seventh-best time in women’s marathon history brushing off competition to record her first-ever win over the distance, a feat that has probably earned her maiden call up to do duty for Kenya in Budapest, Hungary, August this year.

Prior to winning the 2023 Tokyo Marathon, Wanjiru had produced the second-fastest time in women’s marathon debut when she finished second in her premier full marathon attempt in Berlin, registering 2:18:00 September last year.

Athletics Kenya named Wanjiru in Team Kenya’s squad for Budapest, a squad that includes women’s marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and Commonwealth Games 10,000m bronze medallist Sheila Chepkirui. Selly Chepyego who finished second at the Barcelona Marathon last April (2:20:03) and 2023 Prague Marathon second position finisher Margaret Muriuki (2:23:52) have been listed as reserve athletes.

Only three Kenyans have had the prestige of winning a gold medal in the history of women’s marathon at the World Championships.

Catherine Ndereba who has earned a legendary status in road racing became the first Kenya to achieve the feat in 2003 in the streets of St Dennis France.Edna Kiplagat won back to back gold medals in Daegu 2011 and Moscow 2013 respectively.

In 2019,ever smiling Ruth Chepngetich rose to the occasion in Doha, Qatar to reclaim the gold medal in Women’s marathon that had eluded the country in 2017 and 2015.

Born in Laikipia and raised in Nyahururu,the 28-year old Wanjiru who has had stints of less success in track running is eager to make a career turning point through road racing that is slowly nodding yes to her ambitions thus far.

She is joyous for her inclusion in the Kenya team that will be seeking to bring home the title that was lost in Eugene last year.

“This has been my dream and my prayer to be named in team Kenya marathon team for Budapest.I knew I had a chance because I have the world lead time in women’s marathon this year.Am ready and excited to go there and come back with a medal.Right now am just focusing on my preparations and I will go to Budapest with an aim of good representation of my country and with my sight on the medal,” Wanjiru told People Daily.

Wanjiru further revealed her intention to test her pace and endurance in 10,000m during the Athletics Kenya trials at Kasarani Stadium next week.Should she win the trials she will relinquish the ticket to focus on the marathon.

The trailblazing long distance runner fisrt rose to international scene of athletics when she won a silver medal in 2015 during the African Games staged in DRC clocking 15:30:18 in 5000m

She earned her self her maiden chance to where the glorious green and bib of Kenya during the 2019 Doha World Champions but she finished fourth in women’s 10,000m.

Rosemary Wanjiru tried again without success in Poland a year later in the World Half Marathon Championships where she finished tenth in a race that was won by compatriot Peres Jepchirchir.

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