Tuesday, April 6, 2010

John Kemboi Embraces American Roads

John KemboiAnyone looking to make a splash in America might want to take notes from John Kemboi.

With a string of top performances on the roads this spring, Kemboi has marked himself as one of Kenya’s most dangerous young talents, ringing up victories at Chicago’s Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle and the Azalea Trail Run, and placing second at the prestigious Crescent City Classic.  Making his first trip across the Atlantic to gain valuable experience, Kemboi has done that — and more.

Kemboi, a product of Br. Colm O’Connell’s youth camp in Kenya, first announced his considerable talent in winning Kenya’s National Junior Cross Country Championship in 2009. After continuing his training with O’Connell as his full-time coach for the past year, Kemboi finally made his States-side debut in Chicago, running 23:39 for the win. Kemboi said afterwards, “I feel pretty good after this race. It is very nice here, although very cold this morning.”

Kemboi Won the 2010 Shamrock ShuffleThough he had defeated “only” a collection of top American club athletes, Shamrock soon proved to be little more than the warm-up race it was intended as.  In Mobile, Alabama, Kemboi crushed all comers to win the Azalea Trail Run by thirty-two seconds, clocking 27:59 for the 10k course.  Next, in New Orleans on April 3, Kemboi turned in what might have been his top showing yet, even as his undefeated streak ended.  Running 28:12 for second-place, Kemboi beat a cadre of Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes, as well as America’s finest road athletes, including reigning US Half Marathon champion Antonio Vega and National Team members Jason Lemkuhle and Justin Young.  Just seven seconds ahead, the only man to better Kemboi was Tilahun Regassa, who ran 59:19 to win the most lucrative road-race in the world — the Zayed International Half Marathon — earlier this year.

Fast company to be keeping, to be sure.

TwitterFacebookGoogle+DeliciousDiggPrintRead It LaterRedditPinterestWebnewsEmailEvernoteShare

Comments are closed.