Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot

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Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot
Personal information
Born (1978-09-26) 26 September 1978 (age 43)
Kapsabet, Kenya
Height1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight70 kg (154 lb; 11 st 0 lb)
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)10,000 metres: 27:48
Half Marathon: 1:00:05
Marathon: 2:07:14

Robert "Mwafrika" Kipkoech Cheruiyot (born September 26, 1978 in Kapsabet, Kenya), sometimes known as Omar Ahmed,[1] is a Kenyan marathon runner and is the former record holder and five-time winner of the Boston Marathon.

Early career[edit]

Cheruiyot trained running while at school, but was unable to pay school fees and became a high school drop out. He ended up working at a barber shop in Mosoriot, but could hardly buy a meal with his low salary. Later he managed to access Moses Tanui's training camp in Kaptagat. Soon thereafter he made a breakthrough by winning a local 10K race in 2001 and headed for international competitions.[2]

Cheruiyot won the Roma-Ostia Half Marathon in March 2002.[3] His marathon debut, Milan Marathon in December 2002 saw three top finishers - Cheruiyot, Mike Rotich and Daniele Caimmi all posting the same time, 2:08:59 hours, but Cheruiyot emerged the winner.[4] Cheruiyot also won the Saint Silvester Road Race at the end of 2002, the first one of three.[5]

Major marathons[edit]

Robert Cheruiyot in 2008 Boston Marathon at Kilometer 40th

He won the Boston Marathon in 2003, 2006, 2007 and most recently in 2008. His 2006 Boston finishing time of 2:07:14 broke a Boston marathon course record set by Cosmas Ndeti that had lasted 12 years. His record was broken in the 2010 Boston Marathon by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (unrelated) with a finishing time of 2:05:52.

He finished 4th in the 2005 New York Marathon and 2nd in the 2009 New York Marathon. He sought to win another title in Boston in 2005 as well but only finished 5th that year.

During his win at Chicago in 2006, Cheruiyot did not actually break the tape at the finish line. He slipped at the end and crossed the finish line as he slipped forward making him the winner. It was ruled that he did cross the finish line in doing so. He injured his head against the ground in the fall and had to be helped from the course in a wheelchair. He suffered a brain contusion and was released from the hospital after two days of observation. His time of 2:07:35 was five seconds faster than 2nd-place finisher Daniel Njenga. The win in Chicago left him at the top of the 2006 World Marathon Majors standings and won its grand prize.[6][7][8][9][10]

In 2007, Cheruiyot defended his title and won his third Boston Marathon with an official time of 2:14:13. Fellow Kenyans were second and third. It was the 15th time in the last 17 years that a Kenyan has won the Boston marathon but it was also the slowest Boston Marathon since 1977 as runners faced cold headwinds gusting up to 50 miles per hour. Cheruiyot also won $100,000 for the victory and gained a significant lead in the World Marathon Majors series.[11][12][13]

On April 21, 2008, he won his fourth Boston Marathon title with a time of 2:07:45, making him the first four-time winner in the men's open division since Bill Rodgers (fellow Kenyan Catherine Ndereba recorded her fourth win in 2005).

In April 2009, Cheruiyot started the Boston Marathon but did not finish and was sent to the hospital.

He is not to be confused with Robert Kiprotich Cheruiyot[14] or Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot,[15] who are both also Kenyan marathon runners.


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Kenya
2001 Rotterdam Marathon Rotterdam, Netherlands 10th Marathon 2:10:41
Reims Marathon Reims, France 1st Marathon 2:13:17
2002 Milan Marathon Milan, Italy 1st Marathon 2:08:59
Paris Marathon Paris, France 4th Marathon 2:09:39
2003 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 1st Marathon 2:10:11
Milan Marathon Milan, Italy 3rd Marathon 2:11:07
2004 Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States 12th Marathon 2:14:23
2005 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 5th Marathon 2:14:30
New York City Marathon New York, United States 4th Marathon 2:11:01
2006 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 1st Marathon 2:07:14
Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States 1st Marathon 2:07:35
2007 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 1st Marathon 2:14:13
Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States 4th Marathon 2:16:13
Macao Marathon Macao, China 3rd Marathon 2:18:36
2008 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 1st Marathon 2:07:45
2009 2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 5th Marathon 2:10:46
Incheon Bridge Opening Commemorative Marathon Incheon, South Korea 3rd Marathon 2:14:29
New York City Marathon New York, United States 2nd Marathon 2:09:56
2011 Shanghai Marathon Shanghai, China 7th Marathon 2:12:35

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Focus on Athletes - Robert Kipkoech CHERUIYOT/Omar AHMED". Retrieved 2010-04-20.
  2. ^ "Robert 'Mwafrika' Cheruiyot - Life less ordinary". Retrieved 2010-04-20.
  3. ^ Civai, Franco (2011-03-01). Rome-Ostia Half Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2011-03-04.
  4. ^ IAAF, December 1, 2002: Okayo fights back from Big Apple disappointment to win Milan Marathon
  5. ^ "Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre - Gazeta Esportiva". Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  6. ^
  7. ^ 2006 Chicago Marathon Robert Cheruiyot winning the Chicago Marathon - IAAF
  8. ^ 2006 Chicago Marathon YouTube video Robert Cheruiyot was injured at finish
  9. ^ 2006 Chicago Marathon YouTube video Chicago Marathon Highlights
  10. ^ 2006 Chicago marathon - Video of Robert hitting his head at the Chicago Marathon 2006
  11. ^ 2007 Boston marathon Cheruiyot wins Boston Marathon -
  12. ^ 2007 Boston marathon Cheruiyot repeats, Grigoryeva surprises in windy Boston Marathon - IAAF
  13. ^ 2007 Boston Marathon Video Interview Before the 2007 Boston Marathon
  14. ^ "IAAF Profile - Robert Kiprotich Cheruiyot". Retrieved 2010-04-20.
  15. ^ "IAAF Profile - Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot". Retrieved 2010-04-20.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by Rotterdam Men's Half Marathon Winner
Succeeded by