This article appears in the March 2011 issue of LouisvilleMagazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.
Former University of Louisville All-American runner Wesley Korir, a native of Kenya who now calls this city home, is a two-time defending champion — and record-holder — in the Los Angeles Marathon. On March 20, the 28-year-old will go for three in a row on a course that starts at Dodger Stadium and ends two blocks north of the Santa Monica Pier.
In 2009, Korir covered the 26.2-mile course in a record time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 24 seconds. He also plans to do the Rodes City Run 10K, the second leg of Louisville’s Triple Crown of Running, on March 12 and the 2011 Derby Festival miniMarathon on April 30. For the latter, Korir will compete as the race’s three-time defending champion.
1 - Honeymoon cruises Korir and wife Tarah — also a former U of L runner — have skipped so he could defend his L.A. Marathon title after the race was moved from May to March.
2 - Six-inch Subway tuna sandwiches he buys before every race — one for his pre-race meal, the other for after he finishes.
3 - Times Korir, a big Chuck Norris fan, has watched a set of Walker, Texas Ranger DVDs, a gift from a running buddy.
4 - Full marathons he has run, winning L.A. twice and finishing fourth twice in the Chicago Marathon.
5 - Miles he would run, one way, from his village to the nearest school as a boy.
6 - Age in months that his daughter, McKayla, will be at the L.A. Marathon. Her name is a combination of Korir’s wife’s maiden name and the letters ‘l’ and ‘a,’ as in L.A. Marathon.
7 - Kenyan children that he sponsors to go to school as he gets his own charity, the Kenyan Kids Foundation, off the ground.
17 - Mile number when he will run down Rodeo Drive. “One of the fun parts for me is hearing people yell my name in Beverly Hills,” he says.
$9,000 - Money he has helped raise to build a hospital in central Kenya’s Rift Valley.
#125 - The maximum number of miles he runs weekly. “I run more miles than I drive,” says Korir, who won a Honda CR-V at last year’s L.A. Marathon.
#2012 - The Summer Olympics year that he hopes his wife will qualify for the 5,000-meter run for Canada, her native country.