Conseslus Kipruto, Olympic champ, and homemade steeplechase training

Conseslus Kipruto
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Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto‘s unorthodox brand of training for an unorthodox event is coming in handy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, doesn’t train with a steeplechase barrier or a water pit, even during normal times.

Now at home, he set up what appear to be furniture cushions to hurdle. And a mostly drained pool to mimic the water jump, shown in a BBC video.

Kipruto, a 25-year-old raised with four siblings by a single mom, reportedly built the backyard pool to aqua jog while recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot last year.

He was known to do his regular training in Mosoriot not on a track, but a grass field where dirt lanes have been carved out by foot tread of thousands of laps.

Kipruto is the latest king from a Kenyan steeple dynasty, but his origin story may be one of a kind. After playing soccer growing up, he tried track at the urging of his uncle Cleophus. As a 1500m runner, he missed making a two-man team by placing third at a county championships. The trials didn’t include a steeple for lack of barriers, so they asked for volunteers.

“I was the first to put my hand up because I was keen to compete at that next level,” Kipruto said in 2018, according to World Athletics. “Even though I ran barefoot and I had never jumped a steeplechase barrier, I won my very first steeplechase race.”

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