WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Olympian Paul Chelimo flies when he runs, but that’s not all that makes him a relevant representative and guest speaker at the 2022 Air Force Marathon, scheduled for Sept. 16-17.
Although Chelimo is usually ahead of the pack in a race, he will blend in with many Air Force marathon runners as a U.S. Army veteran.
“Mr. Chelimo is a world-class athlete with a history of surpassing himself,” said Rachael Ferguson, Air Force Marathon Director. “He also served in the armed forces and has great respect and appreciation for the US Army. He has won several medals at the Olympics and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that we believe our riders can fully benefit from.
Born and raised in Iten, Kenya, Chelimo moved to the United States on a scholarship, graduated from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and joined the World Class Athlete Program at the U.S. Army, which supports soldiers pursuing and training for spots on the U.S. Olympic team. and facilitates citizenship for international athletes.
“I give the military a lot of credit for my resilient running tactics,” Chelimo said. “I like to run without fear and have been seen on occasion running wire to wire at a brisk pace, solo. I’m a firm believer in: ‘Go hard or suffer the rest of your life.'”
The distance star has won or medaled in several 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meter races, including silver in 2016 and bronze in 2020 at the Olympics in the 5,000m.
The marathon weekend will showcase both Chelimo’s stamina and personality. On Sept. 16 at 6:30 a.m., he will invite competitors to a 45-minute practice run beginning at the Holiday Inn in Fairborn and on or near the 5K course at Wright State University. Back at the hotel at 8:00 a.m., Chelimo will speak at the Breakfast of Champions.
Also this Friday, the featured guest will do a Facebook Live interview on the Air Force Marathon page and appear at the “Star Runners” reception, a celebration for those who have run the marathon distance every 26 years. Chelimo will also speak at Friday’s pasta dinner.
On race day, Sept. 17, fans can see Chelimo run a longer course than usual as he competes in the Air Force Half Marathon.
Anyone interested in marathon weekend events can register at https://register.usafmarathon.com. Click “Register” on the right side of the page, log in or create an account, and find the event you want to attend.
The 2022 Air Force Marathon is scheduled for September 17. Additional races and events will run from Thursday to Saturday this weekend. For the full schedule, go to www.usafmarathon.com/schedule-of-events.