Ukuk Utho’o Bul and Paulo Amotun Lokoro, members of the Athlete Refugee Team, or ART, in Valencia, Spain, this weekend where they competed in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
Both were in their early teens when they fled the civil war in Sudan, and both spent nearly a dozen years at a UNHCR-run refugee camp in the northwestern Kenyan town of Kakuma before being scouted and recruited by the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation, run by the pioneering marathon runner. Since 2015, they’ve been based at the Loroupe’s Training Camp for Athlete Refugees in Ngong, about 30 kilometres west of Nairobi, where they train twice a day six days a week, and attend high school classes in between.
Lokoro may be familiar to some of you; he was a member of the Refugee Olympic team that competed in Rio de Janiero two years ago. For Bul yesterday’s race was his first global championship appearance. He finished in just over 68 minutes and Lokoro in just over 69.
I wrote a piece on the pair for IAAF.org, the website for the track and field’s international governing body, published on the eve of the Championships. Check it out.
Valencia, Spain, 22-Mar-2018