Kitale, Kenya/Louisville, Kentucky, USA
PRONUNCIATION: Wes-lee Kor-ir
AGE: 30 (15Nov82)
PERSONAL BEST: 2:06:13 (Chicago, 2012)
WORLD MARATHON MAJORS:
07Oct12 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 5th 2:06:13
16Apr12 Boston Marathon 1st 2:12:40
09Oct11 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2nd 2:06:15
10Oct10 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 4th 2:08:44
11Oct09 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 6th 2:10:38
ADDITIONAL MARATHON HIGHLIGHTS:
20Mar11 Honda Los Angeles Marathon 4th 2:13:33
21Mar10 Honda Los Angeles Marathon 1st 2:09:19
25May09 Honda Los Angeles Marathon 1st 2:08:24
12Oct08 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 1st 2:13:53 open race
Wesley Korir ran the smartest race of his life in winning the 116th Boston Marathon last year. Deftly handling blistering heat that reached a high of 85F, Korir patiently stayed connected to the leaders of the fastest men’s field ever assembled. Heading into the Newton hills, he resisted the surges of front-runners Geoffrey Mutai and Levy Matebo, and instead ran within himself and focused on strategy. Singing out loud and staying hydrated, Korir found inspiration to pass first one heat-fatigued runner and then the next. He deliberately moved from sixth place at mile 20, to second at mile 24, to undisputed champion at the finish (2:12:40). Kenyans Levy Matebo and Bernard Kipyego and American Jason Hartmann finished second through fourth respectively.
“Winning the Boston Marathon was the biggest accomplishment of my life and the win placed me in a distinguished group of champions who are legendary,” said Korir who is a permanent U.S. resident of Louisville, Kentucky. “The entire world recognizes and respects the Boston Marathon, and I am proudly a Boston Marathon champion forever.” Korir said 2013 marks his fifth year of marathon running and his main goal for the year is to defend his Boston title.
In 2008 Korir made his marathon debut in the open division at the Chicago Marathon. Starting five minutes behind the elite field, Korir won the open race and recorded the fourth fastest time overall. He then began three years of competing in the Los Angeles-Chicago double with impressive results. Korir won Los Angeles twice and in 2011 in Chicago finished runner up to Moses Mosop.
Wesley Korir is a permanent resident of the U.S., and hopes to gain citizenship within a few years. After attending St. Joseph’s secondary school in Kenya, he was awarded a scholarship to attend a university in the U.S. He began his career at Murray State, before transferring to the University of Louisville. There he graduated with a BS in biology and achieved All-American status by placing third in the 5,000m at the 2007 NCAA championships.
Korir is married to elite Canadian runner Tarah McKay and the couple has a daughter named McKayLA, which is a combination of McKay’s maiden name and the letters ‘L’ and ‘A’ as in L.A. Marathon. Korir and McKay founded the Kenyan Kid’s Foundation, which supports children, farmers and healthcare providers near Korir’s home village of Kitale. The couple is building a hospital in honor of Korir’s brother Nicholas who died from a black-mamba snakebite. When not training or working with his Foundation projects, Korir enjoys hiking and watching soccer.