Tegla Loroupe

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Tegla Loroupe (b. 9 May 1973 in Kenya) is a long-distance track and road runner. She holds the world records over 20, 25 and 30 kilometres and previously the marathon distance. She was the first African woman to win the New York City Marathon.

Tegla Loroupe grew up with 24 siblings; her father had four wives. She spent her childhood working fields and looking after younger brothers and sisters. At the age of seven she started to go to school: a barefoot run of ten kilometres every morning. At school she became of her potential as an athlete when she beat others at school races who were several years older than her. These races were normally held over a distance of 800 or 1500 metres. She was determined to pursue a career as a runner, but - except from her mother - was not supported by anyone. They thought she wasted her time with running.

The athletics federation did not support her at first because Loroupe was considered too thin. After winning a prestigious cross country race in 1988, however, this changed. She was nominated for the junior world championships, finishing 28th.

In 1994 Loroupe ran her first major marathon in New York and won. As a consequence she was idolized by many young people in her home country: at last a successful woman to complement the many successful male runners. Tegla Loroupe went on to win almost all of the major marathons in the world. During the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia she suffered from food poisoning. Nevertheless she fought herself through the 10,000 metres and the marathon race, a feat she later stated she achieved out of a sense of duty to all the people taking her as a bearer of hope in her home country. Until the end of 2001 she continued to suffer from various health problems.

Tegla Loroupe's biggest successes include: world records over 20, 25 and 30 kilometres as well a past record over the marathon distance. She won the marathons of Rotterdam three times between 1997 and 1999, New York in 1994 and 1995, Berlin in 1999, London and Rome in 2000 and Lausanne in 2002. Between 1997 and 2002 she won three titles over the half marathon distance. 1994 and 1998 Loroupe won the Goodwill-Games over 10,000 metres. Over the same distance she won bronze medals at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics 1995 and 1999.eo:Tegla LOROUPE

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