Song and dance as New York Marathon champ Peres Jepchirchir returns

Peres Jipchirchir

 A jubilant New York Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir during her homecoming ceremony on arrival at Eldoret International Airport in Uasin Gishu County on November 11, 2021.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Concerning the ongoing athletes workshops, Tuwei said he was impressed by the turnout.

New York City Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir on Thursday received a rapturous reception at Eldoret International Airport as she jetted back home following Sunday victory which marked an end to a successful season.

Jepchirchir won the New York Marathon in 2 hours, 22 minutes, 39 seconds barely three months after winning the Olympic Marathon tittle in Sapporo, Japan in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 20 seconds.

At the airport the mood was exuberant as Jepchirchir's family members, athletics Kenya officials, relatives and friends together with students of Moi Girls Kapsowar joined in welcoming her.

Jepchirchir is Moi Girls Kapsowar patron, and recently helped the school organise charity race for conservation.

Jepchirchir said she was not thinking of winning but was hopeful she would do her best New York.

“When I was at the 27 kilometre mark, I saw Violah (Lagat) and I slowed the pace to wait for her. When she caught up she told me the race was getting tougher but I encouraged her we soldier on because when we are done with 35 kilometres, no one would catch up with us,” she said.

“We kept on encouraging each other and I am happy for Violah because it was her marathon debut and she fought well.”

She said she was grateful to all who prayed for her and for the best wishes extended to her as she prepared for the race and even while in New York.

“For now I am going to relax and wait for next season. I commit all to God and look upon Him on what He has prepared for me next year,” she said.

Her father Paul Kipkoech Chepkwony was lost for words following his daughter's exploits.

“I am grateful to God and all those who have been supporting my daughter’s talent which manifested itself while she was still a student. She used to run to and from school each day and this shaped her athletics prowess,” said Chepkwony.

Moi Girls Kapsowar head teacher Hellen Mabese Luhangala hailed Jepchirchir for the exemplary performance noting it has been a motivation to the young people.

“She has demonstrated resilience and determination by winning two marathons. At our school she is a champion of environmental conservation and motivating young people that the sky is no limit by surmounting all challenges,” she said.

Athletics Kenya President Rd. Gen Jack Tuwei said the season has been good for Kenyan athletes.

“She has kept the Kenyan spirit high. I was worried when she going for the New York Marathon because she had not recovered well from the Olympics but she assured us she was determined ahead of the race. I am happy for her because she kept our hopes alive,” he said.

Concerning the ongoing athletes workshops, Tuwei said he was impressed by the turnout.

“So far marital, relationship and investments are some of the issues athletes have revealed are affecting them. At the end of the forums, I am sure we will have known the real issues ailing them and how best to address them,” said Tuwei.