Today we pay tribute to
Joyce Chepkirui born on 20 August, 1988 is a Kenyan long distance runner who competes in road running events. She grew up in the Buret District of Kenya’s Rift Valley Province. She established herself as a half marathon runner, winning races in Granollers, Bogota and Gothenburg.
Chepkirui began competing in the cross country in 2012 and won the Kenyan and African titles. Her first international appearance came at the 2007 African Junior Athletics Championships, where she came in fifth in the 1500 meters. She made her debut in the half marathon in Benidorm that November and finished as a runners-up.
Chepkirui established herself as an elite level half marathon eunner in 2010. She won a series of Spanish races, taking titles in Alicante, Torrevieja, Albacete, San Sebastian and Logrono. She improved her best to 1:09:51 hours at the San Sebastian race where she also won the Barcelona and Granollers Half Marathons. She was selected to represent Kenya at the 2010 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and she ran a best of 1:09:30 hours taking the fifth place. She ended the year with a win at the 15K Baringo race in Kenya.
She began the year with a win at the Lago Maggiore Half Marathon followed by a fourth-place finish at the Prague Half Marathon. She set a personal best and course record of 1:09:04 hours winning at the Goteborgsvarvet in Sweden in May. She later ran a world leading time of 30:43 minutes for the 10K in Appingedam. She was chosen to compete for Kenya in the 1500 at the 2011 All-African Games and came away with a silver medal behind her compatriot Irene Jelagat. She won the first women’s half marathon title in Baringo with a course record of 1:10:57.1 minutes.
Chepkirui decided to compete in cross country at the start of 2012 and had immediate success where she won in the Discovery Kenya Cross Country and at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships. At the 2012 African Cross Country, she won a gold medal and took home a team title. Chepkirui earned a place on the Kenyan Olympic team by becoming second at the 10,000 m trials in June.
Chepkirui won the World’s Best 10k at the start of 2013. Her debut over the marathon distance came at the 2013 London Marathon. Her run of 30:37 minutes in Berlin was her new personal best and the fastest ever on German soil for the 10K distance.
Chepkirui improved her half marathon best at the Prague Half Marathon in April 2014, taking victory in a course record time of 1:06:19 hours.
Chepkirui won both New York Road Runners 10km in May 2015 and Amsterdam Marathon in 2:24:10 in October 2015.
She finished second in the 2016 New York City Half Marathon on March 20 with a time of 1:07:41. She later finished fourth that year in the New York City Marathon in 2:29:08.