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IAAF.org: Paul Tergat: Ambassador against hunger

Kenya’s Paul Tergat set one of the most outstanding World records last

year when he became the first man to run a marathon under 2 hours and 5 minutes

but his biggest challenge may yet have to come. Recently appointed as the

United Nations World Food Programme ambassador Tergat is set for the most

important battle of his life, the one against hunger in the world. By Bob

Ramsak

Paul Tergat knows about the importance of a warm meal. Which is precisely

why he’s approaching his recent appointment as a World Food Programme

(WFP) Ambassador Against Hunger with the same level of seriousness as he is

with training for this summer’s Olympic Games.

Long before he could even dream about his five World Cross Country

championship titles, his pair of Olympic silver medals and his World record run

in the marathon, Tergat faced a daily struggle for survival confronted by

millions around the world - wondering where there next meal would come

from.

"My Dad wasn a rich man and he was quite old but the only thing he knew

was that he wanted for us to go to school," explained Tergat, recalling

his youth in a family of 17 children in the dry expanse of Kenya’s Rift

Valley. "But it was very difficult to go every day because there was

nothing to eat. Most of the kids didn want to go to school because they were

more interested in trying to get food, so we used to stay behind to look after

the animals.” But droughts would often kill his family’s meager

herd of livestock. “I grew up in a very humble background. It was very

difficult for us to go to school. Life was very difficult. Poverty was rampant

in our area.”

 

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