Tegla Loroupe

By: Karla Adams

Tegla Loroupe, a world class athlete that ranks sixth in the world for the full marathon with a Personal best of 2:20:43 at the Berlin Marathon, is much more than an amazing athlete! She is a woman with a heart of gold and runs all over the world influencing others with an inward goal of peace and fighting poverty…

                While I was in Sendai, Japan last month (July of 2005) participating in the Fifteenth Annual Sendai International Half Marathon, I had a wonderful opportunity to make friends with one of the world’s top runners, Tegla Loroupe. She was the winning female in the Sendai International Half Marathon with a time of 1:12:50! Tegla’s best time for the half marathon is 1:07:12 which ranks her tenth in the world for the half marathon.  As any runner would be, I was very excited to meet and speak with her. I’m sure, as for most driven athletes, my passion and drive as a competitive runner fills me with an attraction towards the most elite of runners. Although I was very amazed by Tegla’s athletic ability, that was not what impressed me the most.  It was her heart. While in Sendai, I had several chats with Tegla, most of them were about her peace foundation and the importance in making a difference in this world. Being a passionate woman myself, with a self seeking goal of bettering this world, when she explained to me her thoughts and goals I saw her heart completely. “Wow, she’s amazing!” I thought! A woman that uses the gifts that God has given her to make a difference.” And she is amazing at it as well! She is a  “world class athlete.” You do not become a world class athlete from genetics alone. Every runner knows the mental energy that goes in to pushing yourself to the max during a marathon. It warms my heart so much to know that Tegla’s accomplishments and drive are powered by such a beautiful mind, heart, and passion for life. She puts her energy into improving the quality of life for her people. She wants them to be educated and fed so that they have the opportunity to enjoy life. At times it can be hard to see the gift’s that are so easily given to us or just waiting for us to pick up and use. To be educate on the world, on ourselves. To understand why things work the way they do. To not have the chance to learn a lot of what I may consider “simple” makes another’s life much more difficult. There are so many concepts and ideas that I have thought to myself “there are people that don’t even get the chance to understand something like this”. There is so much freedom, peace, and serenity in truthful knowledge. The mind is the greatest gift we have. It can take you anywhere you want to go. You just have to learn how to use it. There is no harmony in starvation. There’s no serenity in fighting with your neighbor for food. There is no peace in a child dying because of mal-nutrition and disease.

Each year Tegla puts on different peace races to fight these causes.

Tegla, keep running for the stars ….