Bill's Eye: Congratulations, Wesley Korir

Apr 26, 2012

Sometimes you have to look long and hard to find a positive story featuring a Kentuckian who does well on the national stage. We know there are heroes among us; however, the national media and entertainment industry seem to try hard to go out of their way to spotlight what’s wrong with our state and its inhabitants. For example, Anderson Cooper of CNN fame featured Kentuckians who believe in aliens on a recent show.

We see a lot of headlines about rankings—education, obesity, poverty—that don’t always paint us in the best light. Most of the time, the rankings are without fault.

So, with all of that headwind, it was nice to read and learn about Wesley Korir.

Earlier in the month, Korir, who lives in Louisville, won the famous Boston Marathon. At a time when some across the U.S. don’t think we can walk around the block without getting out of breath, a person from Louisville finished first in what is arguably the most celebrated road race in the world.

Korir, a native of Kenya, credited his University of Louisville biology degree for helping him win in Boston—he knew to stay well hydrated in the hot, 80-degree temperatures runners faced during the race. The 29-year-old also credited a steady pace, singing religious hymns, and faith in God for getting him across the finish line.

He and his wife, a Canadian runner, have founded the Kenyan Kids Foundation in his hometown of Kitale. Korir’s $150,000 prize money will go toward building a hospital in honor of a brother who was killed by a black mamba snake at the age of 10.

There’s more to Korir’s story. I’ll have a second post on him and a new theory about the success of Kenyan runners soon.

In the meantime, join me in congratulating Wesley Korir, 2012 Boston marathon winner.