mark kiptoo should be the poster boy for collegiate and college coaches who do not allow walk ons.
imagine this scenario, kiptoo is a student at a university, you pick the school, oregon, ucla, wisconsin, colorado, a small school whatever, kiptoo walks into the coaches office and says i want to become a runner,
the coach says what is your running experience?
kiptoo says i have gone on a few jogs.
the coach says, have you run any races?
kiptoo says no.
the coach tells kiptoo we have standards to be on our team, basically, the coach has no interest in coaching kiptoo.
kiptoo leaves the coaches room dejected the coach wont help him.
what i am saying is in the USA many coaches in track (meaning teachers of running) wont give someone who is age 29 with no credentials a chance, so kiptoo could either run on his own with no knowledge of training, or worse pick up one of those you to can finish a marathon in 5-6 hours.
there are other runners who were not even runners when they were high school age example tekeste kebede, heck 2:07 marathoner and former boston marathon winner elijaj lagat had no previous running experience and was in his late20's when his doctor said you have to lose weight or you are a high risk for heart attack so he began walking, then when he got in better shape jogging, then eventually running then racing.
why dont we have stories like this? because in the USA it is thought if you are not good before age 20, then you will never be able to get good.
i wonder how many mark kiptoo's there are in the USA who just gave up because no one wanted to help them because of their so called late start in running.