Our Roots

The Kenyan Kids Foundation is a truly  international story that has roots in both Kenya and Canada.

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Wesley Korir was born in the Cherangany Region of western Kenya.  He was one of Roseline and Nehemiah’s nine children and grew up in a mud hut with a thatched roof.  As a subsistence farmer, his father struggled to pay school fees for his children.  Wesley was a gifted student and had natural athletic talent, however he was only able to finish high school due to the generous financial help of one of his teachers, Father Willie Walshe.  With the encouragement of his cousin Patrick, Wesley applied for a track scholarship in the United States.  After one year at Murray State, he transferred to the University of Louisville where he was coached by Ron Mann.  After  graduating with a degree in biology, he  continued training with coach Mann.  In his first marathon, Chicago 2008, he finished with the fourth fastest time, despite starting five minutes behind the elite runners.  Wesley went on to win the LA Marathon in 2009 and 2010, but is perhaps best known for winning the Boston Marathon in 2012. His personal best time of 2:06:15 was set in Chicago in 2012.  Wesley’s next race was a political one, winning a seat as an independent candidate in the Kenyan parliament in March 2013.  As the MP for the Cherangany region of Kenya, he continues to train and compete.

Tarah Korir (nee McKay) was born in Waterloo, Ontario as the oldest of two children.  Her family spent much of their free time in the outdoors, canoeing, camping and swimming in the summer, and skiing in the winter.  Tarah began competitive running in grade 7, encouraged by her physical education teacher, Mr. Hart.  After joining the Tri City Track Club she enjoyed a very successful high school running career, winning nine Ontario medals in cross country and track.  Tarah also won the Canadian Junior Cross Country Championship in 2003 and represented Canada three times as a member of the junior cross country team.  In 2006, she accepted a scholarship to the University of Louisville.  Tarah set the school record in the 1500m and had many successful cross country seasons.  She graduated with a degree in Exercise Science. Tarah and Wesley were married in 2010 and now have two children.  They enjoy training in both Canada and Kenya and continue to compete internationally.