Marathon star serves in Parliament in home country of Kenya - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Marathon star serves in Parliament in home country of Kenya

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - University of Louisville graduate Wesley Korir is using his winning runs as a platform to help people in his home country.

"Winning (the) Boston Marathon in 2012 was a great opportunity for me to get a platform, to go home and say, 'Hey, this is the Boston Marathon Champion,'" Korir told WDRB. 

In 2013, Korir was elected to Parliament to represent about 3,000 people in the Cherangany region of Kenya. It's where he grew up.

"My duty as a member of Parliament is to go and make laws that will help change Kenya," he said.

Korir says he couldn't ignore blatant inequality and poor leadership. He's been working to make a difference for several years. Korir and his wife also run the Kenyan Kids Foundation.

"I was from a poor family. There was no money to go to school. In Kenya, for you to go to high school, you have to pay $350 a year," Korir said.

Money he wins in races, like the Kentucky Derby Festival MiniMarathon he won in Louisville on Saturday, helps provide scholarships for kids who can't afford an education. He says 50 of those students have graduated and 15 will go on to college through the program.

"Those kids now, their lives have changed forever."

Korir says his life changed when a priest decided to pay for his high school education. From there, he got a scholarship to run at U of L.

"I realized that unless somebody gives, there are lot of people back in Kenya who cannot achieve their dreams," Korir said.

Korir says he doesn't know where he would be without running. "It's an amazing talent that God gave me that has been able to help me achieve a lot and I hope it will continue to help me achieve more in my life," he said.

He hopes the talent will keep moving him forward. He plans to someday run for president in Kenya.

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