Dennis Kimetto’s outstanding performance at the 2013 Chicago Marathon remains atop the list of his most celebrated victories.
Born in Eldoret, Kenya in January, 1984, Dennis remained a subsistent farmer until he discovered his true passion. The state of things at the time didn’t promise much light but the rising star wouldn’t let go.
He began casual racing training and coached himself really hard. And in time, his resilience yielded great dividends.
Through an unplanned meeting with Geoffrey Mutai the Boston and New York City Marathon course record holder in 2010, Kimetto was invited to join Mutai’s training camp. And that was the day purpose officially announced him.
You know James Allen was right when he said “The world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going” for that exactly is Kimetto’s story.
Kimetto achieved his first major win in the half marathon section of the Nairobi Marathon in 2011. His first race outside his base was in 2012, by which time he was running world-class times, and had hit a world best for 25K of 1:11:18.
The dark skinned sprinter made his marathon debut in Berlin in September 2012, finishing just a second behind his mentor; Geoffrey Mutai, in 2:04:16, which happened to be the fastest debut in history on a record-eligible course.
Many observers believed that Kimetto deliberately gave up the slot for Mutai, as some form of appreciation for believing in him and allowing him the opportunity to be seen by the world. The victory gave Mutai that year’s World Marathon Majors title and a whopping $500,000 prize.
At the RAK Half Marathon, Kimetto again proved his skill by defeating a field of great athletes including the world class sprinter Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich. He won the race in 60:40 minutes.
2013 presented another beautiful opportunity for Kimetto who was all set to grab it. He achieved his first marathon victory at the Tokyo Marathon in February 2013, where he ran 2:06:50 to break the existing course record (Dickson Chumba recently broke Kimetto’s record in 2014 at 2:05:42).
Kimetto also won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2:03:45 with course record out-running compatriot Emmanuel Mutai in the final kilometer. The two sprinters were neck-and-neck for much of the race before Kimetto pulled way in the closing stages to win the first major US marathon since the bombings at the Boston Marathon in April. It was also recorded the third-fastest time ever run on a record-eligible course.
With his winning time at Chicago in October 2013, Kimetto became the third fastest marathoner in history on a record-eligible course.
But then, like they say; you win some, you lose some. The Kenyan sprinter had his first baffling marathon experience at the 2014 Boston Marathon. He entered as every observer’s sweetheart, but dropped out after the 35-kilometer mark.
But that has not discouraged the shining star as he continues blaze the trail. Kimetto is another proof that anyone can achieve anything if he works hard in it and never gives up.
Like Dennis Kimetto, you can become the world’s best if you stand strong and pursue your dream courageously.