Athlete Profile

Moses Cheruiyot Mosop

  • COUNTRY Kenya Kenya
  • DATE OF BIRTH 7 JUL 1985
Moses Mosop of Kenya wins the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9, 2011 (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Moses Mosop of Kenya wins the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 9, 2011 (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
  • COUNTRY Kenya Kenya
  • DATE OF BIRTH 7 JUL 1985


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Updated 16 March 2009

Moses Cheruiyot MOSOP, Kenya (10,000m, cross country)

Born 07 July, 1985, Kamasia, Marakwet District, Rift Valley Province, Kenya
Coach: Renato Canova
Manager: Gianni Demadonna
Team: Kenya Police
Training: Ngong, Nairobi

Nicknamed ‘Engine Kubwa’ (Big Engine) for his powerful running technique, Moses Mosop is leading the life of latter day global sporting icons with a colourful existence both on and off the field. Only the jet-set lifestyle involving fast cars and lavish houses is missing from Mosop’s repertoire.

His recovery from a serious Achilles injury to win the killer Kenyan Trials and his private life have fascinated in equal measure and the world of athletics waits with bated breath to see whether Mosop will play his part in one of the gripping stories written in Amman.

On February 21, Mosop and Florence Kiplagat won the senior races at the Kenyan trials to become the first husband and wife couple to accomplish the act. Or were they? The mystery over whether Mosop and Kiplagat are married has been the subject of speculation in the Kenyan media while both athletes decline to confirm or even talk about it. Running is more important, they say.

Mosop refuses to be drawn into discussing his personal life though it is said that he wed Kiplagat in 2007, according to local and foreign media reports. “I cannot discuss my family matters,” Mosop said. “What I’m aiming is to win in Amman. I am still disappointed at missing the Beijing Olympics, gold in Edinburgh and Mombasa. That is what I am training so hard to achieve.”

That Mosop got a chance to line-up at the Kenyan trials, leave alone qualify for Amman, after a worrying injury, is a riveting tale in itself. In early 2007, Mosop was shaping up to be an emerging global distance force after winning silver at the 2007 Mombasa World Cross behind Eritrean Zersenay Tadese. To achieve that, Mosop ran without one shoe for 2km after he was spiked in the fourth lap. Considering the atrocious heat that scorched even the greatest cross-country runner in history, Kenenisa Bekele, into submission, Mosop’s rally for silver was one of the highlights from Mombasa that did not receive due recognition.

“I have never seen anyone run like Mosop did on that day,” Kenya’s physiotherapist, Peter Nduhiu said. “After he lost his shoe, he was just holding on in the bronze medal position halfway in the last lap when I shouted to him, ‘Ametoka! (He is out)’ as I ran alongside.

“I was informing him that Bekele was struggling and on hearing that, he tore up the field like a maniac and fortunately, Tadese, who was also fading, had done enough for victory,” Nduhiu disclosed.

With the world seemingly at his feet, Mosop began plotting how to get another go at Bekele and company at the 2007 track and field World Championships in Osaka. However, disaster struck. “After Mombasa, I went to Europe to compete in a couple of races and, while there, I was injured on my left foot,” Mosop said. “Then, I thought it was nothing serious and I continued training. That is when I aggravated the injury.”

Unable to train, Mosop faced the grim reality that his budding career could end.

“At times, I thought it would be all over but I believed that I would be back,” he said. “I worked with the doctors and coach and did everything they required of me.”

Mosop resumed training in October 2008 and a month later, he returned to action with a commanding victory at Wareng Tuskys Cross Country race in Eldoret. In January he was second at the Elgoibar meet in Spain and, a week later, he finished fourth at the Cross Internacional de Itálica IAAF permit meet in Sevilla.  “My body was returning to shape and I felt I could return to the Kenyan team so that I can target the World Cross gold I missed in Mombasa,” Mosop said.

At the selection event, the Big Engine roared back to life with a commanding victory in the long race where he took charge with 2km to go before sprinting clear of closest challenger, Mathew Kisorio, to breeze to the tape 22 seconds ahead of the runner-up.

Mosop began competing in high school, reaching national schools championships in 2002, finishing 2nd in the 10,000m and 3rd in the steeplechase. He trained with Kenya Army athletes before 2002 World Cross trials, where he finished 3rd in the junior race and went on to place 10th in the Dublin World Cross.

The following June, Mosop took 3rd in Kenya’s World Junior track trials (28:.40.6) but was not selected for the Championships in Jamaica.

Training full time with the Army in 2003, he finished second in the trials and seventh in the Lausanne World Cross. He then signed with Manager Demadonna and ran ten races in Europe, notching PBs at 3000 (7:45.70) and 5000 (13:11.75, fourth at Lausanne GP) as well as a world age 18 best at 10,000 (27:13.66, seventh in Brussels GL, an 87-second improvement in his PB). Mosop then qualified for the inaugural World Athletics Final, placing 9th over 5000m, and was later selected to represent Kenya at the All Africa Games in Nigeria, finishing a respectable fifth in 27:56.56.

In 2004, Mosop missed the World Cross trials with injury, then ran a 13:09.68 5000m and a 27:30.66 10,000m in Europe preparing for Kenya’s Olympic trials, where he finished second (28:07.0 ) to veteran John Cheruiyot Korir.  In Athens he had to content himself with seventh (27:46.61), just behind Korir, both of them demoralised by the dominance of Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

In 2005, after an injury-hampered 18th in the men’s 12km at the St-Etienne/St-Galmier World Cross, he earned back some self-respect with fast 27:51.8 win in the Kenyan World Championships trials and was then a close third in the 10,000m at the Helsinki World Championships.

His 2006 season was hampered by an Achilles injury, but he managed a couple of fast road races in April, at Dongio and Heillecourt, finishing second by a whisker in both to countryman Edwin Soi. He also notched an impressive 5000m PB (12:54.46), though it earned him only third place in the Paris Golden League race, where he was beaten once again by Kenenisa and by Soi.

Mosop warmed up for the Kenya-hosted 2007 World Cross in minor European road and cross races, then took the Kenya Trials decisively, over, among others, Soi. After Mombasa he set his personal best in 10,000m in Hengelo timing 26:49.55 in May before he suffered the serious injury.

The fourth of nine children, whose parents are farmers in Kamasia with seven acres, Mosop was previously married to Rose Cheruiyot (no relation to the athlete). He has two daughters, Olympia Cheptoo (born 2004 of Cheruiyot) and Aisha (born 2008 of Kiplagat).

Personal Bests
5000m:    12:54.46 (2006)
10,000m: 26:49.55 (2007)

Yearly Progression
5000/10,000: 2002 - --/28:40.6A; 2003 – 13:11.75/27:13.66;  2004 – 13:09.68/27:30.66;  2005 – 13:06.83/27:08.96;  2006 – 12:54.46/27:17.00; 2007-13:07.89/26:49.55; 2008 - -/-

Career Highlights
2002    10th    World Cross Country Championships (Junior)
2003     7th      World Cross Country Championships (junior)
2003     9th      World Athletics Final (5000m)
2004     7th     Olympic Games (10,000m)
2005   18th       World Cross County Championships (Long Race)
2005     3rd      World Championships (10,000m)
2007     2nd       World Cross Country Championships

Prepared by James Wokabi and Mutwiri Mutuota for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008

Personal Best - Outdoor
Performance Wind Place Date
3000 Metres 7:36.88 Lausanne 11 JUL 2006
5000 Metres 12:54.46 Paris Saint-Denis 08 JUL 2006
10,000 Metres 26:49.55 Hengelo 26 MAY 2007
10 Kilometres 28:04 Nijmegen 21 NOV 2004
15 Kilometres 42:25 Nijmegen 21 NOV 2004
20,000 Metres 58:02.0 Eugene, OR 03 MAY 2011
20 Kilometres 58:20 Rotterdam 15 APR 2012
Half Marathon 59:20 Milano 21 MAR 2010
25,000 Metres 1:12:25.4 Eugene, OR 03 JUN 2011
25 Kilometres 1:13:08 Rotterdam 15 APR 2012
30,000 Metres 1:26:47.4 Eugene, OR 03 JUN 2011
30 Kilometres 1:28:01 Rotterdam 15 APR 2012
Marathon 2:05:03 Rotterdam 15 APR 2012
Progression - Outdoor showShow All Graphs
3000 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2007 7:45.83 Paris Saint-Denis 06 JUL
2006 7:36.88 Lausanne 11 JUL
2005 7:42.96 Madrid 16 JUL
2004 7:41.78 Madrid 17 JUL
2003 7:45.70 Luzern 25 JUN
2001 8:45.1 Nairobi 01 JAN
5000 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2007 13:07.89 Ostrava 27 JUN
2006 12:54.46 Paris Saint-Denis 08 JUL
2005 13:06.83 Sevilla 04 JUN
2004 13:09.68 Hengelo 31 MAY
2003 13:11.75 Lausanne 01 JUL
10,000 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2007 26:49.55 Hengelo 26 MAY
2006 27:17.00 Hengelo 28 MAY
2005 27:08.96 Helsinki 08 AUG
2004 27:30.66 Ostrava 08 JUN
2003 27:13.66 Bruxelles 05 SEP
2002 28:40.6 Nairobi 17 JUN
10 Kilometres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2008 28:29 Trento 11 OCT
2006 28:28 Dongio 17 APR
2004 28:04 Nijmegen 21 NOV
15 Kilometres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2010 43:09 Nijmegen 21 NOV
2004 42:25 Nijmegen 21 NOV
20,000 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2011 58:02.0 Eugene, OR 03 MAY
20 Kilometres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2013 58:39 Chicago, IL 13 OCT
2012 58:20 Rotterdam 15 APR
2010 58:30 Nanning 16 OCT
Half Marathon Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2013 1:01:52 Chicago, IL 13 OCT
2012 1:01:41 Rotterdam 15 APR
2011 1:01:47 Paris 06 MAR
2010 59:20 Milano 21 MAR
25,000 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2011 1:12:25.4 Eugene, OR 03 JUN
25 Kilometres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2013 1:13:17 Chicago, IL 13 OCT
2012 1:13:08 Rotterdam 15 APR
30,000 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2011 1:26:47.4 Eugene, OR 03 JUN
30 Kilometres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2013 1:28:06 Chicago, IL 13 OCT
2012 1:28:01 Rotterdam 15 APR
2011 1:28:47 Chicago, IL 09 OCT
Marathon Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2013 2:11:19 Chicago, IL 13 OCT
2012 2:05:03 Rotterdam 15 APR
2011 2:05:37 Chicago, IL 09 OCT
Honours - 5000 Metres
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
1st IAAF World Athletics Final 9 13:35.51 Monaco 14 SEP 2003
Honours - 10,000 Metres
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 3 27:08.96 Helsinki 08 AUG 2005
28th Olympic Games 7 27:46.61 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 20 AUG 2004
Honours - Half Marathon
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
IAAF / SINOPEC World Half Marathon Championships 10 1:01:31 Nanning 16 OCT 2010
Honours - Senior Race
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
37th IAAF World Cross Country Championships 11 35:17 Amman 28 MAR 2009
35th IAAF World Cross Country Championships 2 36:13 Mombasa 24 MAR 2007
Honours - Junior Race
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
31st IAAF World Cross Country Championships 7 23:17 Lausanne 30 MAR 2003
30th IAAF/Sport Ireland World Cross Country Championships 10 23:58 Dublin 24 MAR 2002
Honours - Long Race
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
33rd IAAF World Cross Country Championships 18 36:51 Saint - Galmier 20 MAR 2005


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Updated 16 March 2009

Moses Cheruiyot MOSOP, Kenya (10,000m, cross country)

Born 07 July, 1985, Kamasia, Marakwet District, Rift Valley Province, Kenya
Coach: Renato Canova
Manager: Gianni Demadonna
Team: Kenya Police
Training: Ngong, Nairobi

Nicknamed ‘Engine Kubwa’ (Big Engine) for his powerful running technique, Moses Mosop is leading the life of latter day global sporting icons with a colourful existence both on and off the field. Only the jet-set lifestyle involving fast cars and lavish houses is missing from Mosop’s repertoire.

His recovery from a serious Achilles injury to win the killer Kenyan Trials and his private life have fascinated in equal measure and the world of athletics waits with bated breath to see whether Mosop will play his part in one of the gripping stories written in Amman.

On February 21, Mosop and Florence Kiplagat won the senior races at the Kenyan trials to become the first husband and wife couple to accomplish the act. Or were they? The mystery over whether Mosop and Kiplagat are married has been the subject of speculation in the Kenyan media while both athletes decline to confirm or even talk about it. Running is more important, they say.

Mosop refuses to be drawn into discussing his personal life though it is said that he wed Kiplagat in 2007, according to local and foreign media reports. “I cannot discuss my family matters,” Mosop said. “What I’m aiming is to win in Amman. I am still disappointed at missing the Beijing Olympics, gold in Edinburgh and Mombasa. That is what I am training so hard to achieve.”

That Mosop got a chance to line-up at the Kenyan trials, leave alone qualify for Amman, after a worrying injury, is a riveting tale in itself. In early 2007, Mosop was shaping up to be an emerging global distance force after winning silver at the 2007 Mombasa World Cross behind Eritrean Zersenay Tadese. To achieve that, Mosop ran without one shoe for 2km after he was spiked in the fourth lap. Considering the atrocious heat that scorched even the greatest cross-country runner in history, Kenenisa Bekele, into submission, Mosop’s rally for silver was one of the highlights from Mombasa that did not receive due recognition.

“I have never seen anyone run like Mosop did on that day,” Kenya’s physiotherapist, Peter Nduhiu said. “After he lost his shoe, he was just holding on in the bronze medal position halfway in the last lap when I shouted to him, ‘Ametoka! (He is out)’ as I ran alongside.

“I was informing him that Bekele was struggling and on hearing that, he tore up the field like a maniac and fortunately, Tadese, who was also fading, had done enough for victory,” Nduhiu disclosed.

With the world seemingly at his feet, Mosop began plotting how to get another go at Bekele and company at the 2007 track and field World Championships in Osaka. However, disaster struck. “After Mombasa, I went to Europe to compete in a couple of races and, while there, I was injured on my left foot,” Mosop said. “Then, I thought it was nothing serious and I continued training. That is when I aggravated the injury.”

Unable to train, Mosop faced the grim reality that his budding career could end.

“At times, I thought it would be all over but I believed that I would be back,” he said. “I worked with the doctors and coach and did everything they required of me.”

Mosop resumed training in October 2008 and a month later, he returned to action with a commanding victory at Wareng Tuskys Cross Country race in Eldoret. In January he was second at the Elgoibar meet in Spain and, a week later, he finished fourth at the Cross Internacional de Itálica IAAF permit meet in Sevilla.  “My body was returning to shape and I felt I could return to the Kenyan team so that I can target the World Cross gold I missed in Mombasa,” Mosop said.

At the selection event, the Big Engine roared back to life with a commanding victory in the long race where he took charge with 2km to go before sprinting clear of closest challenger, Mathew Kisorio, to breeze to the tape 22 seconds ahead of the runner-up.

Mosop began competing in high school, reaching national schools championships in 2002, finishing 2nd in the 10,000m and 3rd in the steeplechase. He trained with Kenya Army athletes before 2002 World Cross trials, where he finished 3rd in the junior race and went on to place 10th in the Dublin World Cross.

The following June, Mosop took 3rd in Kenya’s World Junior track trials (28:.40.6) but was not selected for the Championships in Jamaica.

Training full time with the Army in 2003, he finished second in the trials and seventh in the Lausanne World Cross. He then signed with Manager Demadonna and ran ten races in Europe, notching PBs at 3000 (7:45.70) and 5000 (13:11.75, fourth at Lausanne GP) as well as a world age 18 best at 10,000 (27:13.66, seventh in Brussels GL, an 87-second improvement in his PB). Mosop then qualified for the inaugural World Athletics Final, placing 9th over 5000m, and was later selected to represent Kenya at the All Africa Games in Nigeria, finishing a respectable fifth in 27:56.56.

In 2004, Mosop missed the World Cross trials with injury, then ran a 13:09.68 5000m and a 27:30.66 10,000m in Europe preparing for Kenya’s Olympic trials, where he finished second (28:07.0 ) to veteran John Cheruiyot Korir.  In Athens he had to content himself with seventh (27:46.61), just behind Korir, both of them demoralised by the dominance of Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

In 2005, after an injury-hampered 18th in the men’s 12km at the St-Etienne/St-Galmier World Cross, he earned back some self-respect with fast 27:51.8 win in the Kenyan World Championships trials and was then a close third in the 10,000m at the Helsinki World Championships.

His 2006 season was hampered by an Achilles injury, but he managed a couple of fast road races in April, at Dongio and Heillecourt, finishing second by a whisker in both to countryman Edwin Soi. He also notched an impressive 5000m PB (12:54.46), though it earned him only third place in the Paris Golden League race, where he was beaten once again by Kenenisa and by Soi.

Mosop warmed up for the Kenya-hosted 2007 World Cross in minor European road and cross races, then took the Kenya Trials decisively, over, among others, Soi. After Mombasa he set his personal best in 10,000m in Hengelo timing 26:49.55 in May before he suffered the serious injury.

The fourth of nine children, whose parents are farmers in Kamasia with seven acres, Mosop was previously married to Rose Cheruiyot (no relation to the athlete). He has two daughters, Olympia Cheptoo (born 2004 of Cheruiyot) and Aisha (born 2008 of Kiplagat).

Personal Bests
5000m:    12:54.46 (2006)
10,000m: 26:49.55 (2007)

Yearly Progression
5000/10,000: 2002 - --/28:40.6A; 2003 – 13:11.75/27:13.66;  2004 – 13:09.68/27:30.66;  2005 – 13:06.83/27:08.96;  2006 – 12:54.46/27:17.00; 2007-13:07.89/26:49.55; 2008 - -/-

Career Highlights
2002    10th    World Cross Country Championships (Junior)
2003     7th      World Cross Country Championships (junior)
2003     9th      World Athletics Final (5000m)
2004     7th     Olympic Games (10,000m)
2005   18th       World Cross County Championships (Long Race)
2005     3rd      World Championships (10,000m)
2007     2nd       World Cross Country Championships

Prepared by James Wokabi and Mutwiri Mutuota for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008