Updated 11 March 2013
Hosea Mwok MACHARINYANG, Kenya (5000m, 10,000m, Cross Country)
Born: 12 June, 1986, Takar Village, West Pokot District, Rift Valley Province
Height: 165 cm (5'5”); Weight: 49kg
Manager: Federico Rosa
A painfully shy and softly-spoken athlete, Hosea Mwok Macharinyang – whose name sounds like the title of a musical – fought back injury and illness to make a return to the Kenyan World Cross squad in 2011.
With the World Cross now biennial, he is likely to remain his country’s most capped competitor at the event after he sealed his eighth appearance at the global showpiece following a fourth finish at the Kenyan trials on 16 February.
Having consistently represented Kenya in World Cross since 2004, Macharinyang, who idolises Paul Tergat, the five times World Cross Country champion and former marathon World record holder, suffered an Achilles tendon injury from May 2008 that stopped a remarkable record that had seen the diminutive athlete attend every World Cross since he made his debut as a junior.
The first born in a family of six, Macharinyang attended Kaprong Primary School where, like most pupils in rural areas, he caught the athletics bug by running to and from his place of education. "I used to run on my way to school and back and this helped me train," he said. He proceeded to Kapcherop Mixed Secondary School but dropped out in form three in 2006 to concentrate on his budding career.
Macharinyang first competed at the national level in 2002 when he took part in the National Junior Championships, in Nairobi, to select a team to compete at the World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica. The then 16-year-old found the going tough, trooping home eighth at 10,000m (29:13.7).
He competed in his first cross country meeting on 9 November 2002, winning the opening round of the AK season series in Ngong. At the 2003 National Cross Country Championships, Macharinyang finished 11th, thereby missing out on a chance to compete at the World Cross Country Championships in Lausanne.
In 2004, the high school student was second at the National Cross Country Championships held at the Ngong Racecourse in February and a third-place finish at the National Trials three weeks later saw him seal a spot in the junior men’s team for the World Cross Country in Brussels. Running outside Kenya for the first time, Macharinyang finished sixth, helping Kenya to secure the overall title.
Two months later, Macharinyang won 10,000m and 5000m bronze at the East Africa Junior Championships in Kampala, clocking 29:21.9 and 13:52.2 respectively. In the National Junior Championships to select the team for the World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy, he finished second (28:19.6) behind Moses Mosop to secure his place. In Italy, Macharinyang finished fourth (28:36.50).
In 2005, with a streak of domestic cross country wins behind him, Macharinyang then placed third behind Augustine Choge and Barnabas Kosgei in the National Championships. In March, he made his second appearance in the World Cross Country, in St-Etienne/St-Galmier, France, finishing fourth as Kenya scored a perfect 10 in winning the junior team title.
Back in Nairobi, Macharinyang made an unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the track World Championships in Helsinki, placing seventh in the 10,000m (28:11.0). As consolation, he was selected to compete at the African Junior Championships, in Radès, Tunisia, where he won silver (28:41.44) behind compatriot Moses Masai.
Having graduated to the seniors, Macharinyang placed second in the men's long race at the 2006 National Cross Country Championships after a thrilling duel with Masai. Missing out in the trials for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (8th, 5000m, 14:11.0) he turned his attention to the National Cross Country trials a month later in Ngong, Macharinyang coasted to victory to book a place in World Cross Country team bound for Fukuoka. In Japan, Macharinyang finished sixth in the long race, helping Kenya to reclaim the team title from Ethiopia.
After a modest track season, Macharinyang hit a rich vein of form in the 2006/2007 cross country season, culminating in him winning the long race at the North Rift Provincial Championships, in Baringo, and placing third at the National Trials for the World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa. Competing on home soil, Macharinyang came in fifth while his team won the overall title in front of a partisan crowd at Mombasa Golf Club.
Macharinyang then won the Great BUPA 10km run in Edinburgh, clocking 29:14. In May, he was second behind compatriot Moses Masai in the 5000m at the Takac meet in Belgrade, timing a personal best 13:09.85. The following month, he ran a personal best 7:46.93 for 3,000m in Turin, despite finishing seventh. Soon Macharinyang crossed over to Bilbao, where he recorded his first track win of the season in a 10,000m personal best (27:58.41).
Macharinyang started the 2007-08 cross country season with a third place finish in the 'Cross Internacional Valle de Llodio’ in November. A week later, he was beaten into second by Joseph Ebuya in Soria. Ebuya beat him again in Alcobendas in December. Macharinyang then finished second at the 2008 North Rift Provincial Cross Championships behind Asbel Kiprop.
At the National Championships cum Trials, Macharinyang stayed in the leading pack but could not respond as Gideon Ngatuny and Mark Kiptoo went for top honours. He had to settle for third place but it was sufficient to earn him a place in the squad for the World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh.
In Edinburgh, like most of the Kenyan team, Macharinyang failed to command the heights, finishing 11th in the men’s 12km race on 30 March. The result, however, was enough to help Kenya win the team title in an otherwise disappointing championship for the East African nation.
The following month, he made his debut on the road, setting a personal best of 1:02:52 in Milan Half Marathon on 6 April. The exertions of the road however had an adverse effect on him, as he sustained a serious Achilles tendon injury that would rule him out of any action for the rest of the year.
Macharinyang started his comeback in November 2008 with a third place finish at the annual Wareng Tuskys Cross Country race held on 30 November. This was however false hope as he was diagnosed with appendicitis in early 2009 and underwent surgery, which meant a longer time out of competition.
It meant another long rehabilitation, but he endured it with courage and made his latest comeback to competition at the fourth edition of Wareng Tuskys Cross Country race, on 28 November, where he edged out a tough field that included Joseph Ebuya to win. “I did not expect to win today because I have only trained for four months after undergoing an operation early this year,” he said then.
Now fully back to fitness, Macharinyang set his sights on a Bydgoszcz World Cross ticket in 2010. At the Kenya national Cross Country Championships, on 20 February, the diminutive athlete lined up in the 12km race, stayed in the mix to finish fourth in 35:47.4 and grab the final automatic slot for the World Cross team.
Macharinyang was confident of doing the country proud in Bydgoszcz. "I have recovered from a series of injuries that affected me last year and my sole aim was to return to the Kenyan World Cross team and now that I made it, I will try my best to bring glory to Kenya," he stated before heading to Poland.
However, it was not be, as Macharinyang finished ninth and out of the scoring positions (Joseph Ebuya, Leonard Komon, Richard Mateelong and Paul Tanui all came in ahead of him).
Another unpretentious season followed on the track, with the 13:14.58 season’s best performance at Turin’s Primo Nebiolo Memorial in the 5000m race for third (12 June) the highlight show. On the road, Macharinyang returned a career best 61:38 in half marathon with a fifth finish at the 11th Maratonina Città di Udine on 26 September to wrap up his season.
The adept cross runner opened 2011 at the 9 January Fuensalida Cross, in Spain, where he played bridesmaid to Eritrea’s 2010 World Cross silver holder, Teklemariam Medhin. Compatriots Komon and Mathew Kisorio breasted the tape ahead of him in Sevilla (16 January) before he won the long race at North Rift/AK Provincial Championships (5 February) to prime himself for the selection event in Punta Umbria.
A fifth place finish at Nairobi’s Uhuru Gardens in the men’s long race saw Macharinyang selected for Punta Umbria, marking his seventh World Cross. “Were it not for the injury, they would have been
Again, a tenth finish left his podium hopes in tatters in another modest season that was highlighted by a career best of 1:32:25.60 in the rarely run 30,000m on 2 June in Oregon in a race where compatriot Mosop set the WR (1:26:47.40).
A relapse of his injury in April interrupted his 2012 season only for him to return at the tail end of the year when the AK National Cross Country Series opened on 3 November in Nyahururu where he was second in the long race.
Victory in Kapsakwony (24 November) and runner-up finishes in Embu (22 December) and Kericho (12 January) saw him bag the series jackpot in the men’s 12km competition besides setting him up for the Nationals/Trials.
With his place in the Bydgoszcz 2013 team assured, the question of whether he will crown his eighth bow at the World Cross with a medal surfaced again.
“That remains my wish because I have to get a medal to be considered to be a great cross country runner like Tergat. I just pray that it will all go well for me on that day,” was the 26 year-old wistful reply.
“I love running at the World Cross and for as long as my body allows, I will go for it even if it comes every two years now,” the athlete who at 26 still has ambitions to expand his portfolio at the event added.
3000m: 7:46.93 (2007)
5000m: 13:09.85 (2007)
10,000m: 27:58.41 (2007)
Half Marathon: 1:01:38 (2010)
30,000 Metres: 1:32:25.6 (2011)
5,000m: 2006 – 13:19.43; 2007 – 13:09.85; 2008 – 13:46.20; 2010 – 13:14.58; 2011 –13:25.17; 2012 – 13:59.7h
10,000m: 2004 – 28:19.6hA; 2005 – 28:11.0hA; 2006 – 28:23.0hA; 2007 – 27:58.41
2004 6th World Cross Country Championships (junior)
2004 3rd Eastern African Junior Championships (5000m)
2004 3rd Eastern African Junior Championships (10,000m)
2004 4th World Junior Championships (10,000m)
2005 4th World Cross Country Championships (junior)
2005 2nd African Junior Championships (10,000m)
2006 6th World Cross Country Championships (12km)
2007 5th World Cross Country Championships (12km)
2008 11th World Cross Country Championships (12km)
2010 9th World Cross Country Championships (12km)
2011 10th World Cross Country Championships (12km)
Prepared by James Wokabi and Mutwiri Mutuota for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008-2013