Commonwealth Bronze and Marathon Winner, Kiptoo embraces life as Masters Athlete

The 2010 Commonwealth 5000m bronze medallist shone in the men’s 10,000m final during the national trials for the continental show at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.

In Summary

  • The 2014 Frankfurt Marathon champion says he is in love with athletics and wants to continue running even in his old age
  • Competing against older runners has inspired him and Kiptoo believes every Kenyan should embrace it as a hobby
  • He hopes to compete in various road races next year as well as the Africa and World Masters championships

Main Image (by Erick Barasa) Mark Kiptoo competes in the men’s 10,000m during the trials for the Africa Masters Championships at Nyayo Stadium.

Former African 5,000m champion Mark Kiptoo says he wants to continue running into his twilight years because of love for the sport.

Kiptoo said he has come to learn that running does not only benefit one financially but also has additional perks to make one a well-rounded human being.
“Of course, it is my desire to continue running even when it no longer puts food on the table. If my body allows me, I want to continue running until I am very old. I think this is something that should be encouraged even among the younger generation. If many of us can embrace running even as a hobby, then that translates into a healthy nation,” Kiptoo, 45, said.

The 2010 Commonwealth 5,000m bronze medalist shone in the men’s 10,000m final during the national trials for the Open Africa Masters Athletics Championships at Nyayo Stadium where he came first.

Competing against athletes of different ages, Kiptoo said he has been inspired by the determination of his older competitors.

“They have shown that age is just but a number and that inspires me a lot. It feels great running with them because they challenge you to enjoy this sport and give it your all. Many more would do well to learn from them,” the KDF officer based in Laikipia, said.

The 2014 Frankfurt Marathon champion has not competed this year due to Covid-19 disruption but that has not cut his attachment to athletics.

A core part of his exceptional performance at Nyayo Stadium, Kiptoo said, is his diligence in training even when there are no competitions lined up.

“There is no race that is ever easy although that is what some fans might think. The secret to winning is to work hard in training and approach races with the same attitude. You can’t be complacent in a competition setting because your opponents want the same training and have been working towards the same victory,” Kiptoo, who boasts a personal best of 12:53.46 in 5000m, said.

He has now set his sights on road races in the coming year and is already training towards that.

“God willing, I will be able to compete in various road races next year and compensate for the time out of action this year. There is also the World Masters and Africa Masters coming up so I expect to be quite busy,” he said.