SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – From growing up in Kenya next to a Boston Marathon champion to being honored in the event himself, one Sioux Falls man’s running story came full circle today.
As the sun rose and the fog settled over Pasley Park in Sioux Falls, one man’s dream was coming true.
Benson Lang’at has a passion for running.
“I’m a mental health therapist and one of the things I encourage people to do is exercise. It helps with a lot of mental health,” Lang’at said.
Lang’at had planned on running the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts this year, but the pandemic cancelled the legendary event and turned it into 26.2 miles in South Dakota.
“I’ve qualified multiple times and today, you know, this was going to be my first marathon down in Boston, but way to start it here back at home,” Lang’at said.
Lang’at ran 26.2 miles in about two and a half hours in Sioux Falls as part of the virtual Boston Marathon.
“Everybody showed up. My friends and family. Everybody. I got emotional out there. It was a beautiful race,” Lang’at said.
He was even chosen to be one of 26 members on the marathon’s honorary team.
“So not only is Benson an incredible athlete, he is an incredible human. So he has touched the lives of so many people through running here in Sioux Falls. For him to be able to share this experience with so many people is truly remarkable and it really speaks to his character,” Greg Koch, owner of 605 Running Company, said.
Lang’at is a running coach at 605 Running Company.
“So Benson’s a really good friend of mine and so to be out here and to see him be successful, we’ve gotten to travel the country and run together and do all sorts of different things, so the marathon has elluded Benson. For him to be able to kind of create his own course and put it together under his terms is pretty exciting,” Koch said.
Lang’at’s family back in Kenya even stayed updated online throughout his run.
“It was good. It means a lot and my family back home, you know, they’re proud of me and I’m thankful for that,” Lang’at said.
Lang’at says he hopes to make the trip to Boston to run the marathon in person next year. Sioux Falls mayor Paul TenHaken was one of Lang’at’s pacers for his run today. After crossing the finish line TenHaken posted about Lang’at on Facebook saying quote ‘you’ve done Sioux Falls proud‘.