Series06 Mar 2019

Advice to my younger self: Geoffrey Kamworor


Kenyan distance runner Geoffrey Kamworor (© Getty Images)

Three-time world half-marathon champion and two-time world cross-country champion Geoffrey Kamworor takes a trip back in time to offer some words of wisdom to his younger self.



Your life at the moment seems so carefree. Your days are filled by playing football, running around with friends, swimming in the river and playing hide and seek. You also help your parents on the family farm; growing maize and potatoes and looking after the cattle and sheep.

You may not realise it yet, but your upbringing will form the foundation for your future success.

I know running is already in your blood. Each day you run 8km to and from school back to your farm family. Those fun races with friends in which you pretend to be either Haile Gebrselassie or Eliud Kipchoge will not be wasted. It will act as a good motivation.

That passion for athletics already extends to watching the sport. You enjoy nothing more than sitting in the sun for hours watching track and field competitions. You clearly love everything about the sport; the excitement, the drama and the sheer freedom it can bring.

Well, take on board as much information as you can as this will build your knowledge base and form an important part of your athletics intelligence.

You are also a good student; hard-working and diligent with a passion for English and biology. I like the fact you work as class secretary for some lessons, taking down notes for the rest of the class. Those leadership qualities will serve you well.

Continue to maintain those high standards. I know you already have aspirations to become a lawyer, and although your passion for running will derail your ambitions for a career in law, your work ethic will bear fruit, particularly during those tough training periods in the Kenyan highlands.

Oh, and your older sisters Beatrice and Stella who you love so dearly and who act as such positive role models. Well, one day they will become so proud of your accomplishments and this will fill you with joy.

Even at your young age, I know you believe that one day you will go on to be special at something. Your instincts are correct, Geoffrey, because one day you will become a multiple world champion on the road and cross country. You will become a winner of the New York City Marathon. You will become a star.

Steve Landells for the IAAF