LETHBRIDGE – To Kip Kangogo, a run is a spiritual journey.
“Running is natural. It’s appreciating nature, you appreciate the creation. You appreciate the rivers. It just gives you peace of mind,” said the latest winner of the Calgary Marathon.
A Lethbridge resident, Kangogo shattered the course record at the Calgary Marathon, completing the 42.2-kilometre course in 2:19:47. While the 34-year old usually focuses on shorter distances he had two good reasons to run the longer marathon course – the 50th anniversary of the race and the first birthday of his daughter Emma.
“At some point in the race I started to think about my daughter and it hit me, I’m running this race for my daughter so I have to put on one more push,” said Kangogo.
Born and raised in Kenya, Kangogo moved to Canada in 2001 to run at Lethbridge College. He won a Canadian college championship before heading to the United States where he ran at both Brigham Young University and Texas Christian University.
After five years away he missed Canada, and when his younger brother moved to Lethbridge, Kip returned as well. He put down roots in Alberta, with his wife joining him in 2012. It was tough to start a new life in a foreign country but he’s never looked back.
“When I made that decision, got on that plane, I knew I wanted to go there, make my life better and see what my options will be,” said Kangogo.
In April, 2014 – 13 years after first arriving in Lethbridge – Kangogo made his allegiance permanent, becoming a Canadian citizen.
“I fell in love with this great nation and I knew this is a place I want to call home, this is a place I want to raise my family,” said Kangogo.
And he hopes to show his love for his adopted homeland by wearing the red and white.
“As a way of saying thank you to Canada is to run for Canada in the 2016 Olympic games,” said Kangogo.
It’s a lofty goal, but one he’s determined to chase down.