Sarah Crouch Takeover
We all live in our own comfort zones or personal bubbles. Stepping out of our realm of comfort can be extremely hard and even scary and will come with unexpected challenges. Sometimes these challenges overcome us and seem to be too much, but when we rise above these challenges and get out of our comfort zones amazing things can happen. Kenyan born Aliphine Tuliamuk is one such individual that left her comfort zone to pursue her dreams, becoming an inspiration to us all. Leaving her friends and family behind in Kenya, Aliphine moved to the United States where she earned a college education, was a First Team NCAA Division I All-American in cross country, multi-event USATF Champion, and most recently, winner of the 2020 Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials.
Preparation Precedes Opportunity
Aliphine was raised in Posoy, in the county of Pokot, Kenya. Getting an education wasn’t something many people strived to do, noting that the highest education many could reach in Kenya was a community college education. However, as Aliphine traveled, her desire to get an education and run began to take form and develop. During her senior year in high school in 2008, Aliphine learned about the United States and the opportunities available to her to run and attain a college education.
During this time of her life Aliphine made many sacrifices to further her running abilities, including moving away from family for months at a time to get access to better training. This preparation was vital to her success when the opportunity to run at a University in the United States of America presented itself.
A former student athlete of Iowa State University was in Kenya looking for athletes and spoke with Aliphine about athletic scholarships in America. It was at this point Aliphine decided she wanted to run in America and that she would attend Iowa State University. By 2009, Aliphine had left her family, her country, and all she knew to pursue her dreams of running and moved to America. After spending two years at Iowa State, Aliphine transferred to Witchita State University where her abilities and talents began to flourish.
Find a Role Model
Over the course of the next several years Aliphine would go on to contend and win multiple USATF events, raging from 5k’s to 25k’s. However, Aliphine attributed much of her success not just to her personal training and dedication, but to having strong role models.
No matter what your goals or admiration in life may be, it is important to find someone who can provide you with advice and lead you down the right path. These people, whether they be family, friends, training partners, or a teacher, can inspire hope and confidence in you and provide you with the extra needed motivation to accomplish your goals.
Aliphine strove to always maintain a hard work ethic in order to inspire others to accomplish their dreams. Make sure you take a moment to share your love and gratitude for your sport, or whatever it is you may do, because if you work hard and continue to want it, whether that be a PR in the 5k, to finish your first marathon, or run in the Olympic Trials, you can be an inspiration to other people.
Running has provided Aliphine with a platform in which to inspire others and have a greater and deeper impact on people’s lives. Your dreams are valid and obtainable as long as you work hard and seek guidance from your role models or mentors that have gone before you.
2020 Olympic Marathon Trials
After Aliphine moved to the United States of America she made the decision early on that she wanted to become a citizen and enjoy the rights to vote and compete for America. In 2016 she gained U.S. citizenship, which allowed her to compete in the 2020 Olympic Trials with the goal of earning a spot on the U.S.A. Olympic team.
Entering the race on February 29, 2020, Aliphine said she felt good, her training had gone well, and her head was in the right place. Everything was pointing in the right direction and she was determined to give this race everything she had. However, you can put forth every bit of training necessary, both physical and mentally for the marathon, but over the course of 26.2 miles, anything can happen. Donning one of her trademark, self-crocheted beanies, she was ready to run the most important race of her life.
As Aliphine began to pull away from the pack, she as not alone. Molly Seidel, an elite runner and first-time marathoner was hanging off her shoulder. As opposed to try and leave her behind, Aliphine and Molly began to push each other and offer words of encouragement, realizing they were both their for the same reason: to make the Olympic team. Aliphine and Molly were able to push each other to ensure they both made the team. In the end, it was Aliphine who won the 2020 Olympic Women’s Marathon Trials with a time of 2:27:23, earning herself a spot on the U.S.A. Olympic team. While this is absolutely incredible, Aliphine said she still feels like her best race is ahead of her.
While Aliphine did make the Olympic Team, her teammates did not. She owes a great deal to them for pushing her through her workouts, for encouraging her when she struggled, and for being there for her when training was hard and painful. As a teammate who has not always won, Aliphine said it is important to be happy for your teammates and not just yourself. If you don’t win, you can still show your appreciation and support for your teammates who ran well, and when you lose, remember how special your victories are. This is a good lesson that should be incorporated in all of what we do. Be happy for those around you and support your friends and teammates, win or lose.
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Thank you to my wonderful sponsor Tracksmith for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.
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