Sammy Lelei

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Sammy Lelei (born August 14, 1964) is a former long-distance runner from Kenya, who won the 1995 Berlin Marathon with a career best time of 2:07:02 hours. It was the fastest marathon time in 1995. This time stood as the Kenyan record for the event until 1998, when it was beaten by Ondoro Osoro.

In 1991 he competed in a high calibre one hour run contest and covered 19,820 m, while the winner Arturo Barrios set a world record.[1] Lelei set his half marathon best of 1:01:36 hours en route to winning the 1992 Humarathon Half Marathon in France.[2] In 1992 he won both the Peachtree Road Race and the Boilermaker Road Race. He was a two-time winner of the Cascade Run Off, having back-to-back wins in 1992 to 1993.[3] He also won the Lisbon Half Marathon 1993 with a time of 59:24 minutes (although the course was short).[4] His major marathon debut came at the 1993 Boston Marathon and his finishing time of 2:12:12 hours brought him fifth place overall. He ran in the New York City Marathon later that year and managed eighth.[5] He came close to his personal best at the following year's New York race, coming fourth behind Arturo Barrios with a time of 2:12:24 hours.[6]

Lelei took third place at the Paris Marathon in 1995, improving his best time to 2:11:11 hours.[7] He ran at the 1996 Boston Marathon, finishing in 2:10:11 hours for fifth place. He focused more on marathon races in his late career. He returned to defend his title at the 1996 Berlin Marathon and reached the podium with a third-place finish and his second sub-2:10 clocking of 2:09:49 hours.[8] He was third at the 1997 Berlin Marathon, recording a time of 2:08:00 hours,[9]

His niece, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom, is also a marathon runner.[10]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Kenya
1993 Lisbon Half Marathon Lisbon, Portugal 1st Half marathon 59.24
Boston Marathon Boston, United States 5th Marathon 2:12:12
New York City Marathon New York City, United States 8th Marathon 2:13:56
1994 New York City Marathon New York City, United States 4th Marathon 2:12:24
1995 Paris Marathon Paris, France 3rd Marathon 2:11:11
Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany 1st Marathon 2:07:02
1996 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 5th Marathon 2:10:11
Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany 3rd Marathon 2:09:49
1997 Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany 3rd Marathon 2:08:00


  1. ^ All-Time Performances- One Hour Outdoor Track. ARRS. Retrieved on 2012-03-25.
  2. ^ Humarathon Half Marathon. ARRS (2011-04-04). Retrieved on 2012-03-25.
  3. ^ Cascade Runoff 15 km. ARRS. Retrieved on 2012-03-25.
  4. ^ "untitled". Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  5. ^ World Marathon Rankings for 1993. ARRS. Retrieved on 2012-03-25.
  6. ^ World Marathon Rankings for 1994. ARRS. Retrieved on 2012-03-25.
  7. ^ World Marathon Rankings for 1995. ARRS. Retrieved on 2012-03-25.
  8. ^ World Marathon Rankings for 1996. ARRS. Retrieved on 2012-03-25.
  9. ^ World Marathon Rankings for 1997. ARRS. Retrieved on 2012-03-25.
  10. ^ Burfoot, Amby (2011-12-14). A Brief Chat with Janet Cherobon-Bawcom. Runner's World. Retrieved on 2012-03-25.

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