I do remember the first time that Karen Locke, one of the more excitable athlete managers, spoke about Wesley Korir. He had won LA Marathon and she thought he could walk on air. Then, someone who knew him from Louiseville told me about Wesley. Like Karen’s comments, I kept the several other comments I had heard about Wesley in the flypaper part of my brain for future use.
Last Boston Marathon, in watching Wesley Korir navigate the course, but most importantly, find tactics that made sense for him, that day, against some of the best marathoners in the world, I was truly impressed with his racing ability. Afterwards, in speaking a bit with Wesley, I was even more impressed.
And the next day, at the Boston awards ceremony and final press event, Wesley was sore, but jubilant. Wesley Korir was a Kenyan athlete who had some context with me. His story, told much better than I by Chicago’s Phil Hersh, and his humanity, expressed so well in the story following, by Toni Reavis, will move you, like few others.
An athlete with context? When I first interviewed Haile Gebrselassie in 2006, at the RnR Arizona race, getting a feel for Haile, his likes, his dislikes, how he handled fame and stress, all added to the context of having watched him race for eleven years.
The marathon is such a gamble, but, deep in my heart, I want to see Wesely Korir and Dathan Ritzenhein in the top three. Might be dreaming, but, isn’t that part of being a sports fan?