By Brittany Barber
Relocating to Canada only a year ago from Iten, Kenya, Chemno has already made an impact for the Centennial Colts. Placing third at the 2016 OCAA Cross Country Provincial Championship at Seneca College, Chemno finished the 8km race only a mere 3:27 seconds after the first place runner and three seconds behind second place with a final time of 27:35.
While receiving Rookie of the Year honours, Chemno was able to help his teammates place 6th overall for provincials.
Growing up in Kenya, William was raised to be an excellent runner as his tribe takes pride in former runners who have become successful. “When you’re born, you’re already a runner,” Chemno said of his upbringing. “By the time you’re young, you’re already running to school and because of that, I was born a runner.”
Since moving to Canada, his training schedule has differed a small amount from his usual 20km a day runs, to and from school. Now Chemno tries to fit in any exercise he can during class breaks, before school and after school. “It’s really hard [balancing school and training], especially when I want to be a better runner,” he said. “I love running and I’m able to go places because of it.”
With his passion in long distance running, William tries to help his teammates any time that he can. “We are family because we have [running] in common. They feel for me, I feel for them. They’re like brothers and sisters to me,” he says. “I try to help them and try to engage them in training and in moral support.”
Chemno believes in massage therapy as a way to help his teammates, as well as helping them keep a winning mentality. Taking pride in his massage abilities, he believes in the importance of keeping your body healthy with fruits and vegetables and incorporating stretching and muscle relief for cramps, a common occurrence with runners. “Back home, it’s in our culture to help others. It’s my personal motto,” William said regarding his involvement with his teammates.
While trying to stay as healthy as possible, Chemno believes in running as a way to keep him focused on school and have a positive mindset. “Running keeps my mentality up all the time. Some days if I don’t go for a run, I feel dizzy in class or I can’t concentrate.”
“During my breaks at school I’ll do some jogging. I feel fresh and it activates and recharges my body. I enjoy it, that’s why I keep training. I wouldn’t feel good if I don’t run in the morning. I feel like it’s a part of who I am,” he said.
The most important thing for William is keeping in mind his strength and abilities while maintaining a winning mentality. He believes in “just going and doing your best, and wanting to win,” in order to yield individual best results. Never giving up and being persistent with training plays the most important role for William’s success and, “doing what’s best for me and my body.”
Chemno continued his impressive season, finishing third at the OCAA Cross Country Provincial Championships and second at the National Championships. Photos and video courtesy Colts Marketing. For more cross country and Colts photos please visit www.flickr.com/centennial-colts/