The late Paul Koech was a big loss to the Win Race Association, the group associated with retired athletes that set the agenda of developing themselves into the most prosperous individuals in the society.
The former world half marathon champion, who was laid to rest at his home village of Kipsomba in Uasin Gishu was the founder and chairman of the association. Koech died from brain tumour last Tuesday.
Speaking during the burial of the late Koech, former world 5,000m champion Benjamin Limo said Koech was the man behind the idea that is helping many retired athletes when it comes to investment and lessons of better future.
“In 2009 after retiring, he advised me that retired athletes should start projects that will bring us together, more specifically on investment, that is when he came up with Win Race welfare where we made him the chairman,” said Limo who is the secretary of the association.
Win Race has been growing wings across the country, helping retired athletes us to grow in terms of setting up business projects.
“We have been working together especially in development projects and that is friendship with benefits. Apart from investing, the association has brought us together by creating good atmosphere for us meeting, travelling across the world together and that was the message of purpose,” added the 1999 world silver medalist.
The 1999 world cross country champion, popularly called Helsinki due to his sole gold in the 2005 IAAF world championships, said Koech’s death was a blow to athletes especially retired ones for uniting them.
“He taught us table banking, investing as a group. We started with ten friends but we have grown to a large number,” commented the 2002 Commonwealth Games 5,000m silver medalist who also won silver at the Africa Athletics championships.
In athletics career, Limo said that they used to train together and when he started running in military where Koech his commander.
“When I started running as an army officer, I used to follow the foot prints of our bosses and he was my role model. At the same time, we were in the same management of Kim MacDonald. We used to run together with the likes of Paul Tergat. Apart from us competing together, he is part of our family member,” remembered 2006 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist.
“Though he has left us, we will use the skills and knowledge gained to continue with the group because our idea is to talk to friends and we need more. We have sold the idea to many people and we hope they will join us for prosperity,” concluded Lim