David Barmasai

Kenya has produced more marathon champions than any country in the world, so it’s no surprise that a Kenyan recently won the biggest prize in marathoning.  David Barmasai earned $250,000 for finishing first at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon in the United Arab Emirates.

What would you do with one quarter of a million dollars?  In Kenya, that kind of money will go a long, long way.  According to the World Bank, the average yearly income of a Kenyan in 2009 was $1,570.  Speaking after his victory in Dubai, the 22-year-old Barmasai said, “I’m very happy to win all this money.  Many people after getting a lot of money go badly in their lifestyle, but I hope I will not be among them.  I’ll use it wisely.  I want to stay as I was in the days before.”

Barmasai is one of nine children from a farming family in Kenya’s Rift Valley, and he says one of the ways he can use his money wisely is to buy land for himself.

Before his lucrative triumph in the Middle East, Barmasai had competed in two marathons in Kenya – one in Eldoret, and the other in the capital, Nairobi – and won them both.

The young Kenyan says he thinks he can run faster than he did in Dubai, where he clocked two hours, seven minutes and 18 seconds.  Barmasai says he’s now looking ahead to running one of the big city marathons, like in Boston, Chicago, New York or London, where more prize money awaits.