Philemon Rono may be small in stature, but he’s one mighty runner.
When not training or racing, Rono works as a police officer, so his teammates started calling him “Baby Police” and it stuck.
His nickname rivals Ethiopian world record holder Tirnesh Dibaba’s for wackiest in sports (Dibaba has been dubbed the “Baby-faced Destroyer”).
The Kenyan won last year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in a gutsy fashion, after whacking his head in the warmup and briefly blacking out.
Since his breakout win in Toronto, Rono has had an inspiring year. He trains with Olympic marathon gold medallist Eliud Kipchoge, and was asked to play a central role in Nike’s Breaking2 project in May, acting as one of the key pacers. Kipchoge came very close to becoming the first person in history to crack the two-hour barrier, running 2:00:25 on the F1 track in Italy.
Rono’s agency, Global Sports, have recently launched the NN Running Team in tandem with Nike and Dutch insurance company NN. It consists of some of the best athletes in the world. The roster includes Kipchoge, multiple world record holder Keninisa Bekele and Florence Kiplagat, a two-time Berlin and Chicago Marathon winner. It’s an impressive list of some of the world’s top runners, and you can check out their slick website here.
“Baby Police” will be looking to defend his title on Oct. 22 in Toronto. You can watch the live stream here, or on cbcsports.ca starting at 8:15 a.m. EDT.