Kenyan trail running champions join On

Kenyan trail running champions join On

Kenyan trail running champions Patrick Kipngeno, Philemon Ombogo Kiriago, and Philaries Jeruto Kisang are the latest high-profile additions to the On-Trail Team.

Going forward, the Kenyan trifecta will not only bring their speed and agility on mountainous terrain to the team but are important role models to grow the sport of trail running in Africa.

“Patrick, Philemon, and Philaries are world champions on the trails, and they are some of the first African athletes from their region to be competing at such a high level on the trails,” said On Athlete Partnership Manager Trail, David Kilgore. “We are excited for these trailblazing  athletes to influence the growth of trail and mountain running throughout Africa.”

All three athletes have been part of the On-supported Run2Together team, enabling athletes to live and train in Kenya and Austria. Going forward, all three athletes will become fully-fledged members of the On-Trail Team. The strategic expansion aims to make the team more diverse in culture and demographics, allowing more localized touchpoints for the On roster.

Trailrunner by chance: Patrick Kipngeno

“I started running when I was in primary school. I was inspired by some runners who were running past my home. The distance from home to school is about 3 km, meaning I was covering 12 km a day. That is how I realized that I love to run.”

30-year-old Patrick Kipngeno found trail running in 2020. Originally a road runner with very respectable marathon and half-marathon times, Kipngeno made his mountain running debut at the Kenyan national championships out of necessity. An injury allowed him to run uphill but not on flat terrain. He made the best out of the circumstances and promptly won the race. The decision to start in more mountain races was easy after this first success.

In 2022, he burst onto the Trail Running scene, claimed the overall World Cup win, and was second again in 2023. Kipngeno represented his country at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships and won two individual and two team gold medals in 2022 and 2023. He also finished 2nd overall in the Golden Trail World Series in 2023. When he isn’t training or farming cattle in his native Kenya, Patrick uses his experience and insights to train the next generation as a coach. 

From handball to the trails: Philemon Ombogo Kiriago

Humble and positive, 21-year-old Philemon Ombogo Kiriago loves helping others become great athletes as well. A handball player in his youth, he had to contend with few and far-in-between opportunities to train for his sport and many naysayers that warned him off trail and mountain running as a career. 

But Kiriago persevered and, through the support of other athletes and his Team Run2Gether, was able to pursue his career in trail running. As the first-ever Kenyan winner of the prestigious Sierre-Zinal race in 2023, and a two-time Vice-World Champion in Mountain Running (2022 and 2023), Kiriago is a force to be reckoned with. 

“I am thankful for the great support from Run2Gether and On,” he said. “I am happy to be working with On directly this year. I am looking forward to running my best and working with On to produce the best products as well.”

Philaries Jeruto Kisang: Trail running as a passion

Philaries Jeruto Kisang rocketed onto the world stage in 2022 when she won her mountain racing debut in Thyon-Dixence against several of her more experienced counterparts. The following week, the 27-year-old claimed second place at the prestigious Sierre-Zinal race. 

In 2023, she joined compatriots Kipngeno and Kiriago at Team Run2Gether and continued expanding her impressive merit list. At the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Austria, Kisang claimed the silver medal and a respectable third place at Sierre-Zinal.

“Running is my passion. I can now say it is my work as well, and I love it so much. Partnering with On is providing me with the best training opportunities, and almost everybody in our training group is winning races,” Kisang said of the partnership.

“Patrick, Philemon, and Philares are unique athletes as they continue to spread excitement on the trails with their breathtaking speed and contagious positive smiles and attitudes. We are excited to help them stand on the top of podiums for some of the biggest stages for trail running, including the Golden Trail World Series events, the World Championships in 2025, and in On’s own Cirque Series events,” David Kilgore added.

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