Sally Kipyego was born December 19,1985 to the late kipyego Barno and Josephine Kipyego in Marakwet, Kenya. Sally grew up in Tarakwa Village in Trans-Nzoia District while attending Kaptiony Primary School.
Sally traveled by foot approximately 45 minutes each way to and from school 5 days a week. This may have played a role in developing what would became her life’s passion.
Her running did not take off until 2000, her first year of high school, when she was invited to a training camp in Kapcherop, Marakwet to train under the famed coach Boniface Tiren. In 2001 Sally made her first trip out of the country when she made the Junior World Cross Country team. She went on to place 8th finisher overall.
After her huge breakthrough Sally was expecting more but destiny had something else in mind. In 2002, Sally was sidelined by a persisted stress fracture while she was training hard for the World Junior Championship trials to be held that summer. The injury lasted for years to follow.
It took Sally two years to recover from the injury and by her High School graduation in 2003 she wanted to give running another chance but unfortunately she was too slow, to be competitive at even a local level.
After a slow painful 2004 season Sally had a change of heart.
In January of 2005 Sally accepted an athletics scholarship to attend school in the United States of America. Sally started School at south Plains College, where she broke records right and left both on the track and the Cross Country Course. While there she won every collegiate race she entered and was awarded the title of 2006 NJCAA Female Athlete of the Year. After just three semesters at South Plains she graduated with an Associate Degree in Science.
Soon after, Sally jointed Texas Tech University to pursue a nursing Degree. In May of 2009 Sally graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN; RN). But, what was even more amazing is how much her running took off. She completed her collegiate career with nine NCAA titles, tied for the most wins in NCAA history. Shockingly, Sally achieved all this in only two and a half years, rather than the regular four years. Sally became the first Kenyan woman to win an NCAA cross country title and the only woman to win three consecutive NCAA cross country titles in history.
In 2009, after signing a sponsorship contract with Nike, Sally took a leap of faith and moved to Eugene, Oregon to join the Oregon Track Club. In 2010 Sally showed a glimpse of her potential and reaffirmed her passion after her long road and early disappointments. That year she was ranked 7th in the world in the 5,000m.
In 2011 Sally’s running took a huge step forward when for the first time, a Kenyan woman who traveled to United States to attend school went back to Kenya and made the difficult Kenyan team in 10,000m, she was on her way to a World Championship after an incredible 10 years. Sally’s 2011 season ended with a Silver Medal and a ranking of 2nd in the world at 10,000m and 3rd at the 5,000m. She also had the fastest time in the world at10,000m.
As we start an Olympic year, Sally has already shown that she is ready as evidence by her recent current world leading time of 14:43 at 5,000m. Stay tuned as we continue on this great journey to the 2012 Olympics and hopefully beyond…