The deaths of Samson Kimobwa, former World record holder at 10,000 meters (1977) and WSU runner, and Abderahim Goumri, Moroccan marathoners, were announced by the IAAF. I remember Kimobwa, who ran with Josh Kimeto and Henry Rono at WSU. The NCAA and Pac-Ten (then) was held on Stanford cross country course. I remember helping Kimobwa get to his team corral before a race. We had Oregon on one side (Rudy Chapa, Don Clary, Steve McCheseny, Alberto Salazar) and WSU on other (Rono, Kimobwa, Kimeto), as I was at SCU.
The IAAF is saddened to hear of the deaths in recent days of two outstanding distance runners, Kenya’s Samson Kimobwa and Morocco’s Abderahim Goumri.
Former 10000m World record holder Kimobwa died aged 57 in a Nairobi hospital on Wednesday (16), after being admitted the previous day with a stomach ailment.
He set a World record time of 27:30.5 on 30 June, 1977, in Helsinki. The mark was broken by his compatriot Henry Rono just under a year later in Vienna, when he ran 27:22.4.
Kimobwa was among the first Kenyans to earn a track scholarship to study in the United States when he went to Washington State University in the mid-1970s, along with the likes of Rono and John Ngeno.
In later life, he became a high school teacher and coach, and was the mentor to several Kenyan international runners.
“We have lost a role model, a colleague and person who inspired many young athletes,” said Patrick Sang, the 1992 Olympic 3 000m Steeplechase silver medallist and Athletics Kenya official.
Goumri, 35, was killed on Saturday (19) in a car accident on the road between Rabat and Temara.
On the track, he had a 5000m best time of 12:50.25, which he set in 2005. In recent years, he had focussed on the roads, switching to marathons in 2007. He finished second in the 2007 London Marathon and 2009 Chicago marathon. His best time over the classic distance was 2:05:30, which he achieved when finishing third in the 2008 London Marathon.