Q & A: Festus Kigen

Q. How long have you been running competitively?A. This is my second year running competitively. I’ve been training the last two years back at home with both track and cross country. I started in 2005, now it is 2006. I have been running at TCU for only one month though.

Q. Did you run in high school?

A. I used to run in meets, but I was not serious in high school. I used to run in the class, but that was all.

Q. Would you like to have an Olympic Trial?

A. I would like to have that at some point.

Q. At what age did you start running?

A. I really started at age 20. I didn’t race much back in Kenya because I was too little.

Q. What were the race conditions in Kenya compared to Texas?

A. I ran a time of 24 or 25 minutes for the 8K back at home, at a much higher altitude. Now I am expecting to do much better than that.

Q. How did it feel being unable to race last weekend?

A. Actually, I missed that race because my coach could schedule me a day to rest so I could possibly do better in the upcoming race at Texas A&M.

Q. How does it feel to be looked to as the leader of the TCU team?

A. Now I’m still young, and I only have one month of training, so I am still coping with the place, because it is really different from Kenya.

Q. Which runners did you look up to while growing up?

A. I used to like watching Paul Tergat. He is the world record-holding marathoner. I come from a family of marathon runners. Our mom used to represent our country, and both my brothers are running smarathons as professional athletes. After I finish my studies over here, I will train more for marathon races. One of my brothers has a time of 2 hours 8 minutes in the marathon.

Q. Why did you decide to come to TCU?

A. I found TCU on the Web site, and I applied. I communicated with coach Anderson, and he was willing to recruit me for his team. In January, the board of admissions accepted me to the university.

Q. What is your favorite event to compete in?

A. I prefer track with the 5,000 meters. I have a time of 14 minutes 30 seconds in the 5,000, but I am looking at improving and breaking the TCU record of 13:47 set by Kip Kangogo. I don’t really like the 800; I am more of a long distance runner, so I really like the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races.