Olympic silver medalist to speak at GoGo Running High School All-Area Banquet
Paul Chelimo, the silver medalist in the 5,000-meter race at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games who took a bronze medal at the recent World Championships, is returning to the city where he first started racing in the United States when the highly-acclaimed runner will be the guest speaker at the annual GoGo Running High School All-Area Banquet on Friday, Dec. 1 and join those who will take part in the River City Bank/Rome Half Marathon on Saturday, Dec. 2.
“We are so fortunate to be able to welcome Paul back to Rome,” said Jay Stephenson, who coached Chelimo at Shorter University in 2010 when the Kenyan-born athlete who first began competing in the United States and is now an American citizen, serving as a Specialist in the U.S. Army as a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program.
“What is exciting is knowing that Paul will inspire the high school athletes and everyone else who hears him at the banquet,” Stephenson said. “He has a great story to tell, not only as a world-class runner but as a person. We’re honored to have him come back where it all started.”
Chelimo made an immediate impact in the track world when he came to Rome to compete for Shorter, winning four NAIA national titles on the indoor and outdoor ovals. In 2011, Chelimo transferred to North Carolina-Greensboro where he was a five-time NCAA All-American and closed out his collegiate career as a World University Games Silver Medalist.
In 2014, Chelimo enlisted in the Army and earn his citizenship, and as a member of the Army’s WCAP team has made monumental strides in the world, the biggest coming at last year’s Olympic Games when he battled eventual winner Mo Farah in an epic duel to the finish. Chelimo’s silver medal was the first for America in the 5K since 1964.
Last month in London, Chelimo found himself once again in the world spotlight when he took third place at the IAAF World Championships.
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Registration for the 13.1-mile Half Marathon, hosted by GoGo Running, has begun for the event, which also includes a Half Relay and a 5-kilometer race.
The River City Bank/Rome Half Marathon, Half Relay and 5k will all begin and end at State Mutual Stadium on Saturday, with the 5k starting at 8 a.m. and the Half Marathon and Relay starting at 8:05. Half Marathon, Relay, and 5k Finishers receive long sleeve tech T’s, and will enjoy a post-race pancake breakfast.
Before the runners toe the line, the area’s high school teams and athletes will be honored the night before at the 2017 GoGo Running All-Area Cross Country Banquet that will be held Friday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. at Berry College.
In the last four years, the race has raised nearly $12,000 for the running programs at area high schools, with last year’s event bringing in $3,600 that was donated back to programs. Schools that have received at least one donation check include Armuchee, Coosa, Model, Pepperell, Rome, Calhoun, Gordon Central, Rockmart, Darlington, Providence Prep Academy, St. Mary’s, Cedartown and Unity Christian. Some of these schools have only had volunteers for the race for one year while others have participated with volunteers each year, which is the requirement for schools to be eligible for a donation.
To register and for more information on the River City Bank Half Marathon, Half Relay and 5k, and the GoGo Running All-Area Banquet go to www.romehalf.com or contact GoGo Running at The Shoe Box at 706-291-0752.