Athlete of the Week Archive

Aug. 22, 2006


Qwest Wyoming Home

Philemon Tanui

What brought you here to the University of Wyoming?
"First of all, the entire program. I came to realize that this program is not that small; it's a big team."

Do you play any other sports besides running cross country and track?
"Oh yeah! I like to play soccer; we play Afghan Football back home. I don't do it much anymore because it's a contact sport and so it's a lot different than running. It is physical too. I tried to play this summer, but I had to stop because I didn't want to get injured."

How long have been here in Laramie and what do you think of it so far?
"I've been here for one year now and I think it's a nice place. Few people know about Wyoming, but then you get here and you know where you're at. It's been a nice experience and I am thinking of staying here for my master's and possibly run professionally. I'm thinking about coming back."

What do you enjoy doing when you get some time to yourself?
"Most of my personal time is spent hanging out with my friends, relaxing, going hiking and that's pretty much what I do. I don't like partying really, so it's nice to relax."

How much of America have you had the opportunity to see?
"I've been to many states. When I came here, I went to Texas to see my brother, so I've had the opportunity to see Texas. I've been several other states when we've gone on trips for the Cross Country program. We've been to Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Utah and I've been out to Stanford too. So, I've seen many places."

How many siblings do you have in your family? Are you very close?
"I've got four brothers in my family. Oh yeah we are close. My brother came to Texas when I was in seventh grade, so I didn't see him for about 10 years, but we spoke over the phone often and have stayed very close."

Is there any one event that you are excited to participate in this year?
"Yeah, I used to run the 800 before I started the 3000m steeple chase. I really like the 800m, but the problem is that I'm not good at it. I just like to do it to try and find my speed. I also like running relays."

What's your favorite movie?
"I like Coach Carter. I like that movie because it's kind of inspiring the way in combined sports and academics and the importance of both of them."

Is there any particular American food that you like?
"I don't really like hot dogs, but mostly what I enjoy the most is a double cheeseburger. I know it's not very good for athletes, but every now and again I have to sneak one in. We don't have that kind of food in Kenya."