Sally Kipyego – Interview

September 11, 2012 3

© Copyright – 2012 – Athletics Illustrated

Kenyan distance runner Sally Kipyego won silver in the 10000m distance of the 2012 London Olympic Games. She finished in a personal best time of 30:26.37 in that race. It was her second silver finish in major international competition. During the thirteenth IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, Korea, Kipyego won silver, finishing in 30:50.04 behind Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba.

Kipyego also ran the 5000m distance at the London Games, finishing just outside of the medals in 15:05.79.  She is the fastest Kenyan woman in the 5000m distance.

Kipyego runs for the Nike Oregon Project. She signed with Nike shortly after graduating from Texas Tech University with a nursing degree in 2009. As a Red Raider she became the first Kenyan woman to win an NCAA Championship. She also won three consecutive Honda Sports Award as the top runner in the NCAA. She won a record nine individual titles tying Suzy Favor-Hamilton, but she did it in nearly half the time.

Personal bests:

1500m – 4:06.23
Road Mile – 4:22
One Mile – 4:27.19
3000m – 8:35.89
5000m – 14:30.42
10000m – 30:26.37

Christopher Kelsall: Congratulations on your London Olympic silver medal in the 10,000m. That race was also a personal best. Did you achieve what you set out to do in that race?

Sally Kipyego: Yes, The race turned out exactly how I wanted it to and I walked off the track knowing that I had given every bit of myself and achieved much more than I expected. In general, I was very pleased.

CK: Did running the 10000m help your 5000m?

SK: Yes. I think having a range to be able to run good 5k and 10k helps a lot.

CK: What are your thoughts on the Kenyan team racing the London Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon? Was it simply a matter of excellent organization in Oregon by Nike or was there some other purpose?

SK: I cannot really comment on why the Kenyan Olympic Trials took place in Eugene. It was nice for Nike to bring them to Eugene for the trials, but I really don’t know how Athletic Kenya and Nike decided on it.

CK: I understand that you want to become an American citizen. Has this happened yet? If not, how far away are you from becoming a citizen?

SK: It’s a complex matter and would rather not comment on it at this time.

CK: You have very strong personal bests from 1500m up to the 10000m that seem to get better as you go longer. Are you going to continue with the 10000 and 5000m?

SK: It’s definitely a plus to have a good range, but personally the longer the distance the more comfortable I feel, 10k for example just comes to me a lot easier and more naturally. I plan to move up to the half and full marathons in the near future, but I want to make sure that I’m fully ready for it physically and mentally.

CK: In making sure that you are ready for the half-marathon and marathon, what will be an indication of readiness to you? Will that be measured in a training long run or a certain time in a 10000m race?

SK: I don’t know what it will take to be ready for something like a marathon but for me I need to know that I’m physically ready to handle the training. I have to make sure that my body is conditioned enough to handle high mileage and I have been increasing my mileage gradually over the last two years. In addition, doing a double at the Kenyan trials and the Olympics was another stepping stone in that direction of more work load.

CK: Are you racing cross this autumn? And how about World Cross Country Championships?

SK: I haven’t really decided yet but I doubt if I will ran the World Cross Country, but who knows maybe I will change mind and decide to race.

CK: Catherine Ndereba I believe was from the Marakwet District where you are from, yes? Was she an influence on your early running days?

SK: Catherine comes from central Kenya, but she is a legend in regards to women running in Kenya. She was definitely one of those women that inspired me and a younger generation of women to take up running during the early 2000’s, it was a glimpse of what was possible through running and that women could also be successful in a country that running was dominated by men at the time.

3 Comments »

  1. Christopher Kelsall September 12, 2012 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Good call, David. Thank you. Ten seconds is a big difference between the two!

  2. David September 12, 2012 at 6:52 am - Reply

    What do you mean by “she is the fastest Kenyan woman in the 5000m distance”? I believe Vivian Cheruyiot would garner such a distinction, not Sally. See http://www.iaaf.org/statistics/toplists/inout=o/age=n/season=2012/sex=W/all=n/legal=A/disc=5000/detail.html

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