Kenya’s Edith Chelimo looking to break the course record at the Ottawa 10K

May 2, 2017 | by Justin Lagat

When she sets foot on Canadian soil for the first time this May, Kenya’s Edith Chelimo will be looking to set a new personal best and course record at the prestigious IAAF gold label Ottawa 10K.

“I am excited. My training this year, so far, has been good and I hope that I will run a good time in Ottawa. I have seen Peres Jepchirchir and Gladys Cherono having run good times,” said Chelimo, days before she ran an impressive 1:08:57 half marathon in Berlin, shedding a little under two minutes from her previous personal best time of 1:10.38.

Chelimo’s focus now shifts to the Ottawa 10K where she has to shave 12 seconds off her personal best of 31:07 to break the course record of 30:56, set by Gladys Cherono in 2015. With her recent speedy performance in Berlin, and after lowering her 10K personal best time by close to one minute in Brunssum last year, shaving off twelve seconds appears within reach for Chelimo.

Chelimo was born in Trans-Nzoia County of Kenya in July 1986, a region that has produced relatively few runners unlike the neighboring counties of Uasin Gishu, Nandi and Elgeyo-Marakwet which produced 2012 Boston Marathon winner Wesley Korir and Philip Singoei, two-time winner of Eindhoven Marathon.

Chelimo started her career representing her school at the national level in Kenya in the 3000m and 5000m. In 2004, she represented Kenya at the IAAF junior world championships. Since then, she has focused on the 10K and half marathon distances and her performances have been consistently impressive.

After returning from maternity leave in 2015, Chelimo won the Parelloop 10K (31:07), the Lac d’Annecy half marathon, the Oelder Sparkassen-City-Lauf 10K, the Lotto Baringo half marathon and the Sasumua half marathon.

She also came in second at the Mattoni Olomouc half marathon and the Berlin half marathon, and performed well at the Fitbit Paris half marathon and the TCS World 10K.

All of these achievements, realized in a span of just one year, show that Chelimo is stronger than ever.

Chelimo’s running philosophy is to keep improving her performances, one step at a time. This is one valuable lesson that she took from the world’s renowned Coach Brother Colm O’Connell who trained her early in her career.

These days, Chelimo trains in Kapsabet in the same group as Eunice Kirwa, the reigning Rio Olympic Silver marathon medalist.

The consistency of her training program seems to be yielding impressive results for her.

Lowering her 10K personal best time last year in Brunssum, Netherlands from 32:04 to 31:07 has been Chelimo’s favourite running memory. She hopes to make even better memories next month by bringing that time down by another 12 seconds and setting a new course record at the Ottawa 10K. Given her recent track record, she might just get her wish.