Korir buzz loudens

Under the headline “Marathoner’s Story Is A Front-Runner,” Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times begins the build-up for the 2010 LA Marathon with a profile of defending champion Wesley Korir.

Wesley Korir won last year’s Los Angeles Marathon and dozens cared. Marathons are noticed in Olympic years, or if they are held in your neighborhood and your driveway is blocked.

In our self-indulgent, Web-hit-driven, celebrity-is-king approach to what is important in sports these days, you are Kobe, Manny, LeBron, Tiger or nobody.

Korir is none of the above and far from nobody.

He is a 27-year-old Kenyan with an amazing story. He comes from poverty, which is not unusual in sports. He has excelled beyond expectations, which is not unusual in sports. And he is handling it all with grace and humility, which is unusual.

Together with his near-legendary finish in his first marathon, the 2008 Chicago Marathon, Mr. Korir’s victory in the LA Marathon was quite something. In LA in 2009, his second race at the distance, Mr. Korir not only won the race, but set the course mark at 2:08:24.

Read Mr. Dwyre’s column. Also see last year’s post-race bio from the LA Marathon site, a University of Louisville press release from the fall of 2009, the 2007 bio for Mr. Korir that’s still posted on the University of Louisville sports Web site, a Flickr set maintained by the University of Louisville.

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