Henry Rono - A Story of Triumph
An epic masterwork full of great pain and tragedy, and even greater redemption and joy

Henry Rono - The Warrior and The Man

Henry Rono 1978 Commonwealth Games

    I am Henry Rono, the Nandi warrior. I am Henry Rono, who, despite countless obstacles in my life has overcome them all. In a society that bared my soul and glorified me when I was on top of the world in the summer of 1978 and ridiculed me in the years when I was at the bottom of the world, I have succeeded - because I am a warrior.

    Few people know Henry Rono the man, but many have spoken of Henry Rono the running legend. George Malley, who set an American Record (8:21.72) in the steeplechase in the summer of 1978, says of Henry Rono's 13:21.79 in the NCAA 5000 heats, “Those of us who saw it will always remember we were lucky; we saw running become art. Over the years we've all heard many athletes declare themselves to be ‘artists.’ Rono never claimed anything; he just ran. But if ever there was a ‘performance artist’ in our sport, it was Rono. His performances were ephemeral." In an 81 day stretch in that same summer of 1978, Henry Rono, a Washington State sophomore, established World Records in the 5000 (13:08.4), steeple (8:05.4), 10,000 (27:22.4) and 3000 (7:32.1) - an achievement unparalleled in the history of distance running.

Henry Rono Today

Henry Rono

    Over 30 years since the summer of 1978, seeing Henry Rono run is still awe inspiring. As he trains, his brilliance is obvious - as is his focus and intensity. At the same time, as he coaches his team of elite athletes, you can also see a "motivation artist" who uses his enormous talent and years experience to pass on training, racing and mental strategy advice to bring out the best in his runners. Today, Rono's future is as bright as the brilliance of his running. He is now training at an elite level and guiding his talented athletes. All of his trials and tribulations from the past have given him an inner strength that few possess.

Henry Rono's Past

Henry Rono the athlete

    Born February 12, 1952 into the Nandi Tribe in Kenya, Henry Rono has always been, as his tribespeople are noted for, a warrior. From his dedication to his studies as a child, to the honing of his physical gifts and finally winning his greatest battles as an adult, Henry Rono's warrior heart has never failed him. In 81 days in the summer of 1978, as a sophomore at Washington State University, Henry Rono's battles ended with him setting 5 world records and dominating the sport of running. But in the years that would follow, Henry Rono faced far greater challenges that his warrior heart was ill-prepared for. But as you will see, whether it was winning races and setting world records or overcoming life's challenges, Rono has exhibited extraordinary courage and determination and will. Learn more about Henry Rono's past so that you can understand Henry Rono the man. Continued...

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