MOSORIOT, Kenya – 15 days outside the 126th Boston Marathon, with the sun set on an empty road after sunrise on Sunday. Benson Caprotto, a Kenyan runner, is walking the mile in the small town of Nowshee County, Mossurit, in what is now known as the source of champions, in the middle of a rusty blue arch on the border of Nandi County.
His mouth is slightly flat and his eyelids slip under his sharp hoods, the salt of his efforts remaining. The 5-foot-7, 125-pound-long distance runner is silent as he walks for 18 miles, pursuing a dream. On Monday, Cupertino will attempt a rare performance – his second consecutive Boston Marathon title – to be considered the fastest field in race history. Only 10 men outperform Boston, and Kenya’s Robert Cappoch has not been a champion again in 2008 after being a cheerleader.
Caproto, 31, will row next to Kenya’s Jeffrey Comore, two-time New York City Marathon champion, Ethiopia’s Brahman Legis, third fastest marathoner in history and two-time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa DePessa, also. General Chat Chat Lounge
No one is more surprised than Capruto.
In the October 2021 race, Capproti was in the lead pack for 23 miles and ran without a race, crossing the finish line 46 seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Lemi Brahman to win the destination race.
“Maybe this is my day,” remembers Capreto. He was just hoping to do better than finish 10th place in his Boston debut in 2019. Maybe he could find himself on the podium, he thought. Winning was actually a sudden change of pace for an athlete who at one time didn’t believe he could make a career out of running.
As a member of the Nandi, a sub-tribe of Kleingen, Capreto was not convinced that he could come within the range of the legend he had before, such as Ibrahim Hussein, the first Kenyan to win the Boston Marathon in 1988 and 1991 and 1992. Two more times Eliot Capuchogi, marathon world record holder and two-time Olympic gold medalist, also belongs to Nandi.
Capperito grew up in Toilet, a remote village in the northern rift of Kenya, where life often depended on corn and vegetables on a small farm, on which his family depended on eating and selling. Caperto was one year old when his father died. Occasionally, his mother struggled to feed Caperto and his four brothers.
Sometimes Capreto would go to school for only eight weeks because it was all his mother could pay for. When he could attend, the 8-year-old walked 10 miles a day, through a combination of cardamom bread, butter and vegetables. He would spend the evening working with his brothers and sisters on the farm, and half a mile away, he would boil with two 10 liters of jugs of water to drink and cook.
When Caperto was 16 years old, his science teacher, who happened to be a gym teacher, encouraged him to try cross-country. Cupertino has joined the team, and proved to be a decent – but not necessarily a stand-out – runner.
Cupertino wanted a career in sports journalism, not in competitive sports, but couldn’t afford to continue his education. So he worked on the farm and opened a small brewery, where he was selling vegetables, along with sugar, fresh milk and soap bars. Capreto lived for a few months at a profit of 5,000 shillings (worth $ 43) per month, which met his basic needs. Successful monthly capitolos complete $ 80.
And he kept running.
For two years, he barely remembered to run 6 miles in the morning for 15 miles, before working 12 hours a day in his home town of Cowan in Nandi County. He was always running alone, doing so was beyond pure enjoyment. If he had the money, he could buy a used pair of capro running shoes for $ 4 and train them for a few months.
It wasn’t until a long time friend who became a professional runner invited him on a 12-mile training run that he began to consider the future in the Cupertino game. He was able to stay with the group, and his friend decided to relocate him to Capsaubet, which is home to some of the most advanced training grounds in the world, to find a coach. Capruto went back to his room and sat alone, thinking, “What can I do?
“Yes. It’s a competition,” said Caperto. “But I knew that whatever was coming, it would not be easy.”
He was inspired by the success of one of his brothers, who made a career out of sports. After watching his older brother, Dixon Chumba, win the Tokyo Marathon twice, and once in Chicago, Crypto decided to bet on himself.
He donated his kiosk and moved to Naps County’s capital, Cappasabet, in 2015. Within a few months, he joined the 2 Running Club, a team based on Italian running coach Claudio Bardelli. He became a professional runner in 2016, finishing the Athens Marathon, his first attempt at a distance, the second. Caperto has since won three of the new marathons he has entered, including Prague in 2021 and Toronto in 2018, where he set a personal record of 2 hours 5 minutes.
“He’s a little more threatening,” says Bardelli. “A few years ago, I was always concerned that he was too conservative. A minimum is necessary to achieve this. You won’t find out too much about yourself if you take little risk.
And he discovered so much more when he was victorious in the 2021 Boston Marathon, a breakthrough that allowed him to think of ways he couldn’t give back to his community.
“The more we are successful, the more we are blessed when we give back to society, to the less fortunate. We have come from nowhere,” said Cuperto. He hopes to be a role model for others. He has three students in his hometown. Supports school fees and often donates to its church.
Others are following in our footsteps. They see how we move, “he said.
After all, it is he who drives Caperto when he is on the starting line – to build a brighter future, not just for his family but for those who are living the life he once was. “It will come,” he often worms himself, before long sunrise.
“It’s going to be tough,” he said, ahead of the Boston Marathon. “But I’m well prepared, in my feet and in my mind.