People Who Kick Buts: Tegla Loroupe
In a country where only men are encouraged, one must be one’s own inspiration.
- Borne on May 9 1973 in Kenya.
- A Kenyan long-distance track and road runner. She is also a global spokeswoman for peace, women’s rights and education.
- Loroupe holds the world records for 20, 25 and 30 kilometres and previously held the world marathon record. She is the three-time World Half-Marathon champion. Loroupe was also the first woman from Africa to win the New York City Marathon, which she has won twice. She has won marathons in London, Boston, Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Berlin, Rome, and many of other cities.
- Tegla Loroupe was born in the Rift Valley.
- Loroupe grew up with 24 siblings. The Pokots being a polygamous culture, her father had four wives. She spent her childhood working fields, tending cattle and looking after younger brothers and sisters.
- The Kenyan athletics federation, Athletics Kenya, did not support her at first, thinking Loroupe too small and too thin.
- In 1994 and 1998, Loroupe won the Goodwill Games over 10,000 metres, barefoot.
- In 1994, Loroupe ran her first major marathon in New York. Running against the world’s strongest competition, she won. As a consequence she was idolized by many young people in Africa.
- In 2006, she was named a United Nations Ambassador of Sport.
- In 2003, Loroupe created an annual series of Peace Marathons.
- She has established a school (Tegla Loroupe Peace Academy) and orphanage for children from the region in Kapenguria, a high-mountain town in north-west Kenya.
- the IOC recognized six women, five from each continent and one to represent the world, for their achievements and their work to promote women’s sport. Loroupe was awarded the world trophy.