WICHITA, Kan. – Former Wichita State cross country runner Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton won her first professional race this past Saturday when she competed in a 10-mile race at the HealthPlus Crim Festival of Races in Flint, Mich.
The Kenya native crossed the finish-line in 54:28 which was 18 seconds faster than any other female competitor. She told Ross Maghielse of MLive.com that a key to winning the race was from pacing herself throughout.
“I saw that I was in the lead all the way,” Tuliamuk-Bolton said. “I tried to pace it a little bit and then at the end I saw other runners and just thought, ‘Oh my God, I have got to go get the medal’ and then I pushed it.
“I did not know what to expect and the (Bradley) Hills came, it was very hard, but I just pushed through. By the time I got to 8-mile, my goodness, I was tired.”
As a Shocker, Tuliamuk-Bolton was a three-time All-American and holds the Wichita State 6K record. She also told Maghielse that she is excited to defend her title next summer.
“It was wonderful,” Tuliamuk-Bolton said. “It was a great experience and I liked the course. I do not think anybody expected me to win, not even myself.”
Coach Kirk Hunter, the Wichita State cross country head coach and Tuliamuk-Bolton’s former coach was very pleased with how she began her professional career.
“She has been talking to me ever since so she is really excited about it,” Hunter said. “When you go into your first professional race, you win as easily as she did and for her to be that successful already, that is a good boost to her confidence.
“I hope she takes that and keeps propelling to a different level, ultimately, being in the Olympics and making a good living off of running. I am really happy and proud of her.”
-Wichita State University-