The Blog of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

April 26, 2012

Running the Race: InterVarsity Alum Wins Boston

By: 
Jennifer Anderson

Alumni are bringing the varsity out of InterVarsity.

For decades, InterVarsity has suffered through an identity crisis, being categorized as a ministry to athletes. “No, we’re not a sports group.”

Astonishingly, our ministry has become linked with what it’s not. Just last week, Wesley Korir, InterVarsity alum from the University of Louisville, won the Boston Marathon. This world-class runner was first to cross the finish line in what turned out to be a grueling race in 80-plus degree heat.  

Eric Peterson, InterVarsity divisional director in Kentucky spread the word through Twitter about Korir’s affiliation with InterVarsity. Wesley came to the U.S. as an international student from Kenya. At the University of Louisville, Wesley met Cindy McArtor, a former InterVarsity International Student Ministry (ISM) staff member, who helped in Wesley’s transition from Kenyan to North American culture and climate.

“Subsequently, Wesley ran on the track team at the University of Louisville and was All-Big East in his freshman year,“ Eric explained. “It was in Louisville that Wesley participated with InterVarsity's ministry to international students and got to know ISM staff Bonnie and Tom LeCompte. He served as a gatherer of students to join our ISM GIGs and Bible studies, was an emcee at events, and met his wife Tarah through the chapter.”   

There’s more to the story. Wesley uses the money he wins from racing to better his community in Kenya. He’s established Kenyan Kids Foundation. Through the foundation, a  medical dispensary is being built in Biribiriet, just east of Kitale. The LeComptes hope to send a team to Kenya next year to assist Wesley at the dispensary.

“Wesley is a terrific example of a former international student who is successful, yet uses his success to improve his home country. He loves the Lord and is not shy about telling others around him about Jesus,” said Bonnie.

In the opening months of 2012, InterVarsity alumni have been featured in media of all sorts—make that sports. New York Knicks standout Jeremy Lin, an InterVarsity alum from Harvard University, led the way when he made it to the cover of Sports Illustrated twice and on the list of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Now, Wesley Korir follows in the footsteps of Jeremy Lin. Next thing you know, we’ll be in the IV League. 

Jennifer Anderson serves at InterVarsity’s National Service Center as a Writer and Proofreader.

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