Patriciah Mulinge : Photo:Courtesy of Lifetouch Staff
A long, rewarding journey for Brockton’s Patriciah Mulinge
In Kenya, where vast open plains and long dirt roads rule the land, running is as much a part of culture as football in America. Every kid grows up dreaming of following in the footsteps of previous generations of great distance runners and Olympic Athletes.
For Brockton High School senior and Kenyan citizen Patriciah Mulinge, that dream is slowly becoming a reality. In the case of most high school athletes, the journey from youth to adulthood involves classes, friendships, sports, fun and homework. For her, it involved an 8,500-mile voyage and a new home.
Mulinge, a track captain, grew up in Kenya and arrived in the United States when she was 12 years old. The aspiring doctor speaks four different languages (if you include local Kenyan dialects), is an honors student and a Big Three Conference champion in the mile.
She runs cross country in the fall, and does primarily the one mile and two-mile races during indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. This practice, known as “doubling up”, is often difficult for most runners due to the high amount of endurance required.
“It feels great when I’m done running the race because at first I’m dreading doing it,” she said. “But then I finish and I’m like, ‘Wow! That wasn’t that hard.’ During the race I’m usually thinking about the end of the race, especially the two mile. I will count each lap and tell myself, ‘you can’t give up now, you’re almost there.’ I will also listen to the cheers of my teammates and that helps me finish strong.”
The distance specialist first gained an interest in running while growing up in the open land of her Kenyan town. Whenever she had free time, she would run or walk several miles. Sometimes she did this with friends, while at other points she took advantage of the openness to run by herself. While much attention is given to the host of challenges Kenya and other underdeveloped nations face — and with good reason — Mulinge couldn’t imagine growing up anywhere else.READ MORE