Kenya’s Jacqueline Nyetipei traveled to China, just like any athlete to win the Zhengkai marathon in 2010 little did she know she was going to be a lifesaver for disabled home runner whom she doe-sent remember his name.
Coming from cattle rustling prone county of West Pokot, Nyetitpei, the former Santiago De Chile marathon champion was leading the race before she was passed by Chinese elite disable athlete struggling to drink water.
Due to her kind heart and humanity, she decided to provide water hence losing the title and came second.
“I decided to run side by side with him for up to 38km mark, supplying water to him in all water stations. That kind heart slowed me as opponents overtook me and sprinted to the finish line. At 38km, I tried catching up with the winner but it was too late but I was satisfied with the second position because money is not everything in life. Help others in needy condition,” said Nyetipei who pocketed $10,000.
Her kindness, which started way back at Lelan village, was exported to the international levels.
“That loss did not dampen my running spirit and never regretted my actions. Imagine if I had not assisted him, what would have happened? Sometimes, we need to help out even when competing,” said the Iten based runner while in Eldoret on Monday evening.
The joyous Nyetipei added “I saw an armless, struggling to pick bottled water. With kindness and humanity, I made sure he drunk water until 38km before giving him my special water.”
She said that money is not everything since she knew she was going to get some money with her second position.
But that helping hand stormed her to be famous with camera lens rolling.
“I never knew I was going to be famous. In fact, I did not know the picture was taken until later when I received phone calls from abroad from different people to come and see this Kenyan runner who helped a disable man and cost her cash prize and gold,” said the 24-year-old former Chepariten primary school pupil.
The first born in a family of eight has been the pillar of their life by paying school fees with the money she earned in running since she did not make it to secondary school education.
“I have made sure my siblings have gone to school, even though was not able to get further studies after class eight”. The mother of two children added.
With her personal best standing at 2:30.52 in a marathon, the former 1,500m national primary school champion trains with 2014 Commonwealth marathon champion Flomena Cheyech, Elizabeth Rumokal and Jackline Chemwok.