Celebrating his 47th birthday on Saturday, two time Kampala marathon champion Isaiah Kipkemoi Kosgei will be running a solo marathon on Friday 26th to raise funds to build a modern laboratory at the St. Paul’s Makongi secondary school.
Kosgei, who joined the school aged 40 years after missing the opportunity to learn at his tender age said he wants to build a modern laboratory at the school to foster learners’ future.
The 42km race, which will start at the University of Eldoret, will end at the Makongi School along Eldoret-Ziwa Road.
“Last year, I competed in a half marathon but this year, I am running 42km and this is a good step in giving back to the community,” said the former Bardox half marathon champion who has also engaged in charity work after he founded King David Academy to help in education among young learners.
As a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) member, he was to run on Saturday 27th but he moved the race to Friday so that he can worship on Saturday on his funds drive where he has managed to get friends who will support his project.
“This school has about 700 learners who need such great support from well-wishers and the community at large. I will be turning 47 years on Saturday but I will be running on Friday to allow me worship on Saturday,” he said.
The man, who sat for his KCSE in the school aged 41 and turned to be a physiotherapist in the north rift region, attending to the majority of athletes, said the race is running for a course.
“This is a race with a good course. We need to raise about kshs 1.6 million and it will be a challenge at my age but I have individuals who have given all to ensure the project is successful,” said the 2006 Kampala marathon before earning his double in 2009.
The father of three joined Makongi to gain education after he unsuccessfully applied for jobs but since he lacked a form four certificate, it proved to be a hard task.
“I completed his primary education in 1991 but lacked fees to join secondary school but later joined Kitale Youth Polytechnic as an electrical Installation and maintenance but never secured any job hence joined athletics after competing at the Standard Chartered marathon. I was called in various disciplined forces like Kenya Police and prisons but lack of form four certificates shut his doors, “he said.
He reaped well in 2005 when he finished third at the Tiberians marathon then he was contracted to pace for former world half marathon record holder Lornah Kiplagat.
“In all this, I faced communication challenges in foreign languages, even being offered many scholarships in European universities but that certificate was lacking,” he said.