FAIRBORN — As the Air Force Marathon revs up to celebrate its 25th anniversary, a two-time Olympian and one-time silver medalist will set the stage for celebration. Paul Chelimo, who competes in the men’s 5,000 meters Friday in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is set to be the guest speaker at the event this September.
Chelimo was born in Iten, Kenya then moved to the United States on a running scholarship in 2010. Attending school and graduating from the University of North Carolina, Chelimo joined the United States Army through the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program as a water treatment specialist. He then joined the World Class Athlete Program in 2014.
Chelimo earned a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and won a bronze medal in the World Championships in 2017. He qualified for the final heat in the 2020 Olympics men’s 5,000 with a time of 13:30.15, just behind Mohamed Katir of Spain.
“We are absolutely honored to have Paul Chelimo here for the 25th anniversary of the Air Force Marathon, as he is not simply one of the world’s best runners, but for him to be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces means so much to our entire team, our volunteers, our participants and this entire community,” said Brandon Hough, Air Force Marathon director.
Chelimo has made the sport of running a lifelong goal and often offers advice to those preparing for races.
“Paul continues to be motivation for all runners, in his undying drive and amazing story of success,” Hough said.
Chelimo rose to the top at the height of the world stage where he medaled at the 2016 Rio Olympics and now competes again for the USA at the Tokyo Olympics.
Reach London Bishop at 937-02-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.