Henry Rono - The Warrior and The Man
I am Henry Rono, the Nandi warrior. I am Henry Rono, the recovered alcoholic. I am Henry Rono, the 56 year old man, 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. Today, I am training and racing and traveling to commemorate the 30th anniversary of that summer.
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.