• The first-born in a family of nine says her difficult childhood fuels her determination to succeed.
At 37, most athletes have retired but for a budding Kericho-based athlete this is the start. She wants to win marathon races and break records.
Caroline Cherono, despite being a mother, is undeterred and is not about to give up on her passion having started running and competing in distance events while in primary school at the tender age of 12.
The first-born in a family of nine says her difficult childhood fuels her determination to succeed.
She decided to drop out of school in Class 8 in 1997 after school fees became a challenge and it was evident her studies were now coming second to her track training.
“I started running while in Class 5 and competed in various races during primary school competitions. When my father passed on while I was in Class 8, I lost all hope of ever going to secondary school since my mother could not educate me forcing me to take my running seriously. My humble beginnings and challenges that I went through while growing up pushed me to strive for a better life and this motivates me to do better,” said Cherono.
The mother of three whose last born is in Class six, got married at a tender age of 16 years bringing her running career to an abrupt halt.
With two young children, Cherono reveals the athletics bug bit her again and in 2010 she started to take on her running seriously.
“My family would take care of my young children and I would run and train alone during the evenings but the desire to do better never left my system so I decided to look for a training camp and I found one in Sotik, Bomet County where I settled to start running seriously. Here I was able to focus on my training away from the distractions of everyday life,” adds Cherono
Currently she trains at Gariete Athletics Camp in Kericho with male team mates to improve her endurance. Her disciplines being 5km, 10km and half marathon races.
Her decision to take up marathon running was informed by the competitive nature of the track events.
From 2011 to 2013 Cherono started taking part in local races. In 2016 she took part in international races in different provinces in Italy and her impressive performances in these events gave her the much needed boost to chase after bigger things.
“I have taken part in local competitions of marathon races as well as many of the events in Italy in different provinces from 2016 to 2019. I emerged top in the Monte Lussari Mountain Run in 2018, Baden City Run 2018, Parndorf City Run and Two City Run. In early 2015 I suffered from a ham string injury and could not compete but this setback did not deter me from pursuing my passion,” she adds.
Cherono took part in the 2013 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon and finished an impressive sixth catching the eyes of top athlete coaches and managers.
It was not long before she was signed by Gariete Athletics Camp in Kericho in 2014 whose head coach is Gabriel Kiptanui.
Kiptanui is a renowned athletics instructor who has produced a number of top track stars among them reigning world 3,000m steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech.
In 2018 she won the Torino half marathon in Italy bagging gold with an impressive time of 2:36:59.
“Nothing comes easy. One has to work and train hard. I loved every mile of this race in Torino, Italy and fought until the end to achieve first place and become part of the elite athletes family in Kenya,” Cherono said.
The renowned athlete in 2019 emerged second in Sophia half marathon event held in Italy and settled any doubts about her preparedness and credentials. She is now looking forward to represent the country in both local and international marathon competitions as she trains hard alongside her coach.