Athletics

Olympic marathon qualifier Aliphine Tuliamuk aiming to ‘inspire’ mothers after announcing pregnancy 

The Kenyan-born runner is set to represent USA at Tokyo 2020 – just six months after her due date.

By Ed Knowles ·

USA marathon runner Aliphine Tuliamuk has announced on social media that her first daughter Zoe will "make her grand entrance to this world next month."

She expects to become a mother in January and then compete at Tokyo 2020 in August - just six months after her due date.

The 31-year-old said she originally planned to have a baby after the Olympics this year, but "it turned out this year had other plans."

The Olympic postponement inspired the Kenyan-born athlete to make a big decision.

“When I saw that news, I thought to myself, ‘You know what? Maybe we do have time to start a family,” Tuliamuk said to Sports Illustrated.

“I remember texting [my partner] Tim who was at work and not even discussing it but telling him, We are going to have a baby.

Tuliamuk won the U.S. women’s marathon qualification in February 2020.

“When I saw that positive pregnancy test, it was basically the highlight of my year,” Tuliamuk said.

“Looking at the place I am emotionally and mentally, I am very happy. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.”

Tuliamuk is currently 33 weeks pregnant.

Aliphine Tuliamuk crossing the line in first at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in Atlanta

Aliphine grew up in a village in West Pokot in Northern Kenya, where running is a way of life.

Sport opened the door to a U.S. college education. The 10-time American champion is determined to make a mark at the Olympic level.

“I have dreamt about how I’m going to have my baby and she’s going to be in Tokyo with me.”

Tuliamuk celebrating her first-place finish at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials

“She’s not going to know what’s going on but she’s going to be my main motivation. I am going to be in that race, and God willing if everything goes well.

“I am going to be very fit. I am going to defy all the odds. I am going to have an amazing race. It is going to be an inspiration for so many other professional athletes who would like to be mums while they’re still at the peak of their careers. I dream about that a lot.”