Aliphine Tuliamuk Hoping to Cap Her American Dream with a Spot on US Olympic Team
HOKA Trials Athlete of the Day #14
by LetsRun.com (sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE)
February 23, 2020
February is Marathon Month on LetsRun.com as the month ends with one of the greatest events on the athletics calendar, the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. From the contenders, to the dreamers, to the mountain men and women, HOKA ONE ONE has 17 athletes competing at the Trials, and LetsRun.com is partnering with HOKA to profile all of them. We hope these profiles not only show you the cool stories of the people running the Trials, but also help gets you pumped for the Trials, and gives you some advice for your own running. This content is sponsored content for HOKA, but not approved by them.
Aliphine Tuliamuk represents the American dream and she hopes she caps that dream in Atlanta by making the 2020 US Olympic Team.
Born in Kenya, Aliphine grew up in the small village of Posoy where running was a part of life. She was given her first pair of racing shoes by a female pioneer in marathon running Tegla Laroupe. Aliphine placed 9th at the 2005 World Junior Cross Country Championships. She’d actually take a break from running after that success but eventually got the attention of American colleges. She first came to Iowa State, and then transferred to Wichita State where she was an NCAA star, finishing NCAA runner-up at 10,000m twice, and nabbing a fourth place finish at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships, one spot behind Jordan Hasay. Aliphine was the first woman from her village and her family of 32 kids to graduate from college with a major in Public Health and turned pro in 2013.
After getting her US citizenship in 2016, Tuliamuk went on a tear winning US titles. All-in-all she has won 9 US National titles from the 5k to 25k on the roads, and has won US cross country. She joined HOKA NAZ Elite in 2018, and won US titles at the half marathon and 25k and set a PB of 2:26:50 in the marathon while a member of the club.
The one big goal remaining for Aliphine is to make the US Olympic Marathon team, and she shares that goal with her fellow HOKA NAZ Elite pros, Stephanie Bruce (2:27 PB, profiled yesterday here) and Kellyn Taylor (2:24 PB). For the first time, all 3 have done a marathon buildup together and this instagram post by Aliphine sums it up well:
We spoke to Aliphine this weekend and will have more with her this upcoming week but first here is her Trials Q&A from earlier in the month.
Name: Aliphine Tuliamuk
Hometown: Flagstaff, Arizona
College: Wichita State
Occupation: Pro runner
Training Group: HOKA NAZ Elite
How qualified for the Trials? 2:26:50 at Rotterdam Marathon
Running bio/notable achievements: Represented Kenya in 2005 world XC junior
14 All America titles
9 time US national champion
Represented US in 2017 world XC champs
2:26:50 marathon PR
1:09.49 half marathon PR
31:53 for 10,000m
Road to the Trials
How did you start running?
I started running as a little kid growing up in rural Kenya, running was a way of lie. I fell in love with running in 4th grade and made it to what’s equivalent to the state meet. As an adult now, running is not only my job but a way to escape the world, it gives me so much joy and fulfillment. It’s my way of letting out stresses if everyday life.
How long have you dreamed of the Olympics?
I have been dreaming of making the Olympics since 2010.
What does it mean to make the Trials?
Making the Olympic team will mean the world to me, as an immigrant, representing USA will be my way of showing gratitude to a country that has given me so much, and an incredible opportunity that I never dreamed of as a little girl.
What’s your goal for the Trials?
Win, Top 3, make the USA Olympic team
What do you think of the course?
It’s an incredibly hard and relentless course
How has your training gone in the buildup for the Trials? Did you do anything different because it’s the Trials? Do you feel extra pressure?
My training had gone well so far, we have had a few workouts on some rolling terrains, most of the pressure I feel is from within, I want to make the team, fulfill my dreams, make my country proud and continue to be a positive role model to kids especially girls from my village (show them that they don’t have to choose between school and running that they can successfully do both)
How long was your buildup?
What was your highest mileage week? Your average week?
So far, about 120
What is your favorite workout?
Longer tempos (10-16 miles) and 20mile + long runs
How much sleep do you get a night?
Free Training Advice
What one piece of advice would you give to a high school/ younger runner?
Listen you your body and coaches, don’t over do it in the training, too many miles for a younger athlete could be detrimental, most important fuel properly so you can keep your body healthy hence achieving your highest athletic goals
What one piece of advice would you give to a first-time marathoner?
Practice being on your feet longer. Do longer long runs and workouts to prepare your body for 26.2 miles
What one piece of advice would you give to a runner pursuing their dreams?
Remember your why’s at all times, and especially during the hard times
What would you be doing if you weren’t a pro runner?
I would be a nurse making a difference in my community
What is your favorite running memory?
Finishing a race in a stadium with roaring crowds during Bolder Boulder 10k
Who inspired you as a runner as a kid?
What is your race day routine?
Wake up, coffee + bagel, shower, head to the starts for warm-up
Why do you run?
It’s my job
It’s like a drug that I am addicted to
Running makes me feel more alive
Previous HOKA ONE ONE Takes On The Trials Stories:
* HOKA NAZ Elite Coach Ben Rosario Talks 2020 Marathon Trials Expectations, Shoe Technology, Jim Walmsley, & Even Galen Rupp
- HOKA Trials Athlete of the Day #13: Sid Vaughn: From Unsigned Out of College to HOKA NAZ Elite Pro Dreaming of Tokyo
- HOKA Trials Athlete of the Day #12: Stephanie Bruce: From Beating Boys in Grade School, to Partying in High School, to First National Title at 34, to the Olympics? Stephanie Bruce has nearly done it all in the sport. But two big things remain. Conquering the marathon and making an Olympic team.
- HOKA Trials Athlete of the Day #11: Scott Smith: Can He Get Top 3 Like His Dog at the Dog World Championships?Scott Smith is dreaming of the Olympics after his 2:11 in Chicago.
- HOKA Trials Athlete of the Day #10: Rajpaul Pannu – From Being an Overweight Highschooler to the Olympic Marathon Trials Rajpaul Pannu started running to lose weight in high school. Now he’ll be toeing the line at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. Read his cool story.
- HOKA Trials Athlete of the Day #9: Tyler Andrews The Male Trials Runner Who Didn’t Break 18 Minutes in High School Who Now Trains with Kenyans in Ecuador Tyler Andrews has a true where your dreams become reality story as he didn’t break 18 minutes for 5k in high school and now is training with Kenyans in Ecuador and running the Olympic Marathon Trails and winning US championships.
- HOKA Trials Athlete of the Day #8: Jim Walmsley Looking for Advice Before His First Marathon
- HOKA Trials Runner of the Day #7: Brandon Johnson: From Sports Illustrated Steeplechase Fall to the Marathon Trials This HOKA field rep recruited by Pete Julian in college first made national news by face planting in a steeple pit, but has been climbing up the distance ranks since.
- HOKA ONE ONE Trials Athlete Of The Day #6: Clinical Cancer Rearcher Manager Liza Reichert Who says you can’t be an Olympic Marathon Trails qualifier and have a very important job? Meet Liza Reichert.
- HOKA ONE ONE Trials Athlete Of The Day #5: Texan and US Mountain Team Member David Fuentes Meet the two-time Trials qualifier who has never broken 2:20 in a marathon. Will the hills of Atlanta result in a big breakthrough for this US Mountain team member? Not only does he work a full-time job, he also has a cool side hustle.
- HOKA ONE ONE Trials Athlete Of The Day #4: Swarnjit Boyal’s: Incredible US Olympic Trials Story Learn how Boyal has progressed from being cut twice in college, to being a walkon, to a conference champion, and now a US Olympic Trials qualifier.
- HOKA ONE ONE Trials Athlete Of The Day #3: Meet Addi Zerrenner The Trials Qualifier Who Taped a Picture of Shalane Flanagan on Her Wall in High School During her 1st week of HS track practice, Zerrener was told she “ran like Shalane Flanagan” and she’s been hooked ever since.
- HOKA ONE ONE Trials Athlete Of The Day #2: Former US Marathon Champ Sergio Reyes Ready to Excel at Possibly His Final Trials at Age 38 How many 38 year olds do you know that run up to 140 mpw.
- HOKA ONE ONE Trials Athlete Of The Day #1: 2007 Foot Locker Champ Ashley Brasovan In HS, she beat Jordan Hasay to win the crown and later was told by doctors she would never “run again, let alone compete, after being diagnosed with osteoporosis and having 4 femoral stress fractures.” Yet she’s become a professional trail runner and 2X Olympic Marathon trials qualifier.
- Introduction: HOKA ONE ONE Is Ready To Take On The Marathon Trials