Dennis Chirchir, trains with athletes from Marathon Pamoja Running Team in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County on the Kaptuli-Plateau road in Uasin Gishu County on September 16, 2023.

| Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Footballer-turned-athlete Chirchir aims for big score

What you need to know:

  • Former Liberty Sports Academy youth striker targets lowering his PB of 2:07:17

The much awaited Berlin Marathon will be held on Sunday on the streets of the German capital city.

All eyes will no doubt be on world record holder and double Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge.

The Kenyan road running legend broke his two world records in Berlin and has declared he will attempt at lowering his stupendous time of 2 hours 01 minutes 09 seconds set last year.

With all attention understandably on the greatest marathon runner of all time, another lesser known one has been quietly preparing for a second stab at glory in Germany.

Kenya’s Denis Chirchir is optimistic that he will challenge for a podium position and his four-month training in Iten will back him up.

The footballer-turned-athlete has been training under the Iten-based Pamoja Training Group.

Chirchir will race with his  training mates who include Josphat Boit, Eritrea-born Swiss Abraham Tadese and German Amanal Petros.

With fast times written all over the face of Berlin, Chirchir will be aiming to improve on his personal best time of 2:07:17 that he set in March when he finished second in the Hannover Marathon in Germany.

“We have had good preparations and, personally, I feel that I’m in good shape and can runner faster.”

“I am feeling very comfortable heading once again to Germany. The only difference is that I will be competing in a big race and against the world record holder who has been a motivation to us in this career,” said Chirchir.

Chirchir, 33, was an accomplished football player in his student days at Kabianga High School.

In fact, he had an eye for goal and even won a top scorer’s award.

It was not surprising when he joined Liberty Sports Academy Kenya Under-20 in 2009 after finishing school.

Then a promising striker, he was seeking a scholarship to the USA via football but after two years at the academy under former Kenya coach Jacob Mulee, things did not seem to work out.

“I decided to go back to my first love, running.”

Chirchir was initially an 800m before switching to long distance running.
Now he is aiming to score a big goal on the roads of Berlin.

“I believe everything is possible through God,” Chirchir simply said.

Name: Dennis Chirchir

Date of birth: January 15, 1990

Place of birth: Kaiboi, Nandi County

Discipline: Half marathon, marathon

Personal best times:

10km: 30:58

Half marathon: 1:03:27

Marathon: 2:07:17