|Photo by PhotoRun.net|
“When I started running, my father chased me away from home,” said Nicholas Bor, as he explains how he got started with running.
It definitely was not the best way to start a career, but Bor has been able to defeat the odds and has become one of the most promising athletes in the world.
Last year, Bor took home the top prize in last year’s Ottawa 10K, running a blistering 27:55, but before that moment, he had faced a difficult path.
He was forced had to drop out of school at a young age, lacking the money to pay school fees, and ended up helping with farm work at home.
Seven years later, after assisting his father on their farm and seeing no bright future in it, he decided it was time to find a new way to earn a living for himself. But, when he started to run, Bor said his father took it to mean that he was avoiding working on the farm and asked him to leave home.
So that’s what he did, moving to stay with his sister for the first few days when he still had nothing and nowhere to stay.
Now, as a rising star in the running world, he’s able to support not only himself but also for some of his relatives as well.
Bor said he is is excited about returning to Ottawa Marathon in May to defend his 10K title.
“Of all the races I have run, I like the Ottawa 10K race a lot,” he said. “It has a great organization and the weather is also great, especially given that the 10K race is run in the evening when the weather is warmer than it would be early in the morning.”
“The course is also very fast and I believe that I have a big chance to better my personal best time of 27:38 here,” he said.
The time he projects to run in May is under 27:35, which, if it happens, will be a personal best for him. And if all goes well, he also hopes to run under 27:24 and set a new course record.
“I got the invitation quite early this time around which means I have plenty of time to prepare and focus on the course record,” he said. “[It’s] unlike last year, when I did not have such plenty of time to prepare and also had some problems with my flight and arrived there late and hardly had time to recover from the jet lag before my race.”
Bor’s talent was evident at a very young age. He recalls playing freeze tag as a child and it reached a point when kids asked him not to play because no one could catch him.
As Bor began training more, it didn’t take long for him to meet fellow athlete Jonathan Maiyo, who has a personal best time of 2:04:56 in marathon, who happens to come from the same area of Kenya as Bor.
When they met, Bor asked for his help getting to Iten, a town in Kenya with a large running community, where he could train with the best runners under a coach.
“Wait until I come back from Tokyo marathon so I can see how to take you to camp in Iten,” Maiyo told him.
But, meanwhile, there was a speed workout in Eldoret, where Maiyo’s renowned coach, Renato Canova, was present. Even before the plans to get him to Iten could be made, Bor joined the group for some track workouts.
He showed a lot of strength during those workouts and impressed Canova, who urged him to make plans to go to Iten soon. Within a week, he was in Iten, training together under coach Canova with Maiyo and two-time marathon world champion, Abel Kirui.
Once in Iten, Maiyo helped Bor get his passport ready and, after their workout one day, they came across the late Zane Branson of the IAC management. They arranged a meeting and, after hearing how he had performed in a number of the local races, Zane was interested in him and signed him up in their management.
“It took me only seven months of training in Iten before I could get out of the country to a race abroad,” Bor said, who only started serious training in January 2013 and found management in June of the same year.
Bor said he was happy and proud to be able to reach a major breakthrough in his career in such a short amount of time. Understandable given that many other athletes take even up to twelve years training in Iten before they become successful.
His rapid ascent also also shows Bor’s incredible talent and explains why he is an athlete to watch out in the near future.