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October 31, 2013

Wesley Korir


Q.テつ The first thing to ask is how does a member of Parliament fit in training for a New York City Marathon?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I think I am here, first of all, to run the New York Marathon, but also to break the record of becoming the first politician in the world to win‑‑

Q.テつ The fastest politician?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Yeah, fastest politician.テつ But to win a marathon.テつ To say that I've been training hard, very, very hard.

Q.テつ I have a question about parliament.テつ How many people are in the parliament, and how long is your term?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Parliament is about over 300 people, 300 politicians.テつ The time is for five years.

Q.テつ And it's not like here where we have an upper house and a lower house.テつ You just have the one?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ We have two houses in Kenya, but we don't have‑‑ we are fighting right now in Kenya, which is the upper house and which is the lower house.
The first year, this year they introduced the senate.テつ So there has been only one house, which is the Parliament, but now they've introduced the senate.テつ So we have the senate, and we have the Parliament.

Q.テつ Is it like here, that you're representing a certain part of country?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Yes.テつ I'm representing my area called Cherangany, about 300,000 people.テつ So I'm representing about 300,000 people.

Q.テつ How far from Nairobi?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ About a five‑hour drive.テつ So every weekend we have a five‑hour drive back home.

Q.テつ What is your typical week like now?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ My typical week is waking up Monday.テつ I wake up in the morning.テつ I go run every day in the morning, and I go to the office.テつ Monday I go to the office.テつ And then Tuesday I wake up, and then I go‑‑ I am part of two committees in Parliament, labor committee and sports committee.
So from about 10:00 to about 12:00, I'm in committee meeting, and then from 2:00 to 6:30, I am in Parliament.テつ So I wake up 6:00 in the morning, I go home, I run, and then after that I go to work.
And then Wednesday in a whole day of Parliament.テつ It starts at 9:30 to 6:30, and then Thursday is committee in the morning and then Parliament in the evening.テつ And then Friday I'm on my way back to my constituency.

Q.テつ Is the schedule trying to fit in training busier when you were trying to get elected or now that you have been elected?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ No.テつ I think trying to get elected, before the Boston Marathon, because campaigning was really hard.
Now I think now, because I'm already elected, I am able to fit in some training time.テつ I have a treadmill in Parliament.テつ We have a treadmill.
When I got to Parliament, the first time the treadmill was very slow.テつ So I went in there, and I tried to run one time on the treadmill, and it was too slow for me.テつ So I called in, and they called in the engineers, who put the training belt in to increase the speed.
They told me, since Parliament started, nobody has ever been able to run that fast.テつ So Parliamentarians are all fat.

Q.テつ How are you received in Parliament as an elite athlete?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ It is weird.テつ People don't understand.テつ People are like what, an elite athlete?テつ People‑‑ but people respect me for that.テつ I think one thing that really, really raised my status in Parliament is the fact that I'm still an elite runner.テつ Everybody respects that.テつ And everybody respects the fact that I can come to America and run.
Every politician‑‑ the list of politicians that wanted to come with me on this trip was very big.テつ So it's one respect I get a lot in Parliament.テつ Even when I stand up to speak in Parliament, the speaker always say Wesley, the runner.テつ So that is the thing that keeps me known all over the country.

Q.テつ Are you younger than most politicians?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Yeah, I'm pretty much the youngest.

Q.テつ That's what I thought.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ And the skinniest.

Q.テつ Do they specifically appreciate what the Boston Marathon means?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Oh, yeah, they appreciate it.テつ That's one thing.テつ I was telling someone yesterday I have won L.A. marathon twice, but nobody talks to me as the L.A. Marathon champion.テつ They talk to me as Boston Marathon champion.テつ Not to talk bad about L.A., it's a good race.テつ But Boston is definitely the best.
So being a Boston Marathon champion is something that has definitely raised my status.

Q.テつ Part of the training is also rest, but now with all your duties, how can you fit that in?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I try to rest.テつ A good thing in Parliament is it's not a 24‑hour thing.テつ It's not‑‑ you know, you go there.テつ When I have a motion that I am very passionate about, when I have a motion that I need to pass, I go, and participate 100 percent.
But when there's no motion I really need to pass, when there's no motion, there's a lunch in Parliament.テつ They know me.テつ When they see me coming, hey, he's the runner.テつ He's going to sleep.テつ I go in there and get food.

Q.テつ They have food and a bed for you?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Not a bed.テつ It's a couch.テつ A really, really comfy couch.

Q.テつ Wesley, how long in session with Parliament in the course of a year?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ It's pretty much every‑‑

Q.テつ Almost straight through the whole year?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Straight through until December.テつ The beginning of December, we have about a month or two off.テつ But I was able to get, before this marathon, I got a special with the speaker and the officials, they gave me two weeks.テつ So I've been able to come here to America for two weeks, pretty much rest and be able to get in some good training.
So that was good they were able to give me permission to leave Parliament.

Q.テつ How is it during the week?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ The most important thing I've been able to do is get my long runs on the weekends when I go to the village.テつ So Saturdays and Sundays have been my big days.テつ I've been able to get 20‑mile runs, 22‑mile runs, and those are the most important things.
But I've been able to get‑‑ I think the highest I've gotten before this was 80 miles a week.テつ So it's good.テつ I think that was pretty good for me compared to Boston Marathon before this year, the highest I had was 40 miles a week.テつ So I think I'm good to go.

Q.テつ Before Boston was only 40 miles?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Before Boston.

Q.テつ What was it before you won Boston?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I was about 55th.テつ So right now I think I'm about 20 miles short of what I used to do when I was just full‑time running.テつ But 20 miles a week short, I think I'm pretty good to go.

Q.テつ Is there a way for you really to assess your condition?テつ Do you do any time trial type things?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I think being here for two weeks, doing those tempo runs with coach, we did a six‑mile tempo run, which was really, really good.テつ And then I did‑‑ we did another mile, six‑mile repeat, and then we did a four‑mile tempo.テつ So those workouts have been really my time trial.

Q.テつ One run or different ones?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Three different workouts, over three different weeks.テつ Those are the ones that help me gauge how physical.
I think the most important thing is the fact that I'm still able to run, still able to do what I love the most, which is run, and being able to do something different than anybody has ever done.
You know, some people think I'm crazy.テつ Some people think I don't know what I'm doing, but I think definitely I'm getting good at what I'm doing.テつ Using running as my stepping stone, a place where anybody can hear me, anybody can listen to me run.
If I come leer and I win a marathon, the whole world knows about it, and I can talk about the things that I want to do for my people, and when I go to Parliament, the respect that I get, it's not the respect that I'm a good politician, but the respect that I'm a runner.テつ That's what keeps me going.

Q.テつ How are things in the civic strife in Kenya?テつ Where you go now, do you go past some of the fighting?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ No, I'm training‑‑ I think right now Kenya is getting really‑‑ in the form of civic fighting that we used to be, no.テつ We don't have any fighting.
What we have right now is the terrorism that we all have in the world.テつ The terrorists like that were at the mall, terrorism.
But I train in Ngong.テつ I train in the forests in Ngong.テつ The only problem between being a runner and a politician is I have to live outside the city.テつ Most of the politicians would just live within the city.テつ So to me, I live about an hour away.
So you find out that every day I spend about four hours traveling because of the traffic and all that because I have to be out of the city so that I can be able to train.テつ That is the only thing that is very, very hard.テつ So every day I spend so much time on the road so I can be able to train.

Q.テつ Do you have a car?テつ Do you have a driver who does all that for you?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I have a driver.テつ I have two bodyguards.テつ Yeah, I have a driver, two bodyguards, I have a secretary and a personal assistant, and I have a manager.

Q.テつ As the Boston Marathon champion, speaking of terrorism, how did you find out about the bombing?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I was in my hotel.テつ I had just finished the marathon and was taking a shower.テつ My hotel was right at the finish line, and I had the blast, and I got out of the shower, and I looked out, and I could see people‑‑ everything because I was just right there.
But the first thing I did was to make sure that all the Kenyan elite athletes were safe because, as a member of Parliament, I needed to know.テつ I had to go room by room and check that all the Kenyans were safe.テつ And one of them was missing, but we found out later that he was still coming into the room.
And second to go is find out what's going on.テつ Was it elite runners or people injured?テつ Just to know what is going on.テつ So it was terrible.
But we learn from it.テつ I think the security we come here, and we see the security improve.テつ It is not fun.テつ It is not fun to come here and be checked when you're coming in, but it is something that's a wakeup call that we live in a world that is going somewhere that we don't like it.
But as runners, all I can say is terrorists are doing the wrong thing to try to attack the runners because we will run more and run more and more and more to prove them wrong.テつ They will never defeat us.テつ They will never intimidate us.テつ They are targeting the wrong group of people.

Q.テつ As someone who is in Kenya, especially as a member of Parliament, you know very well about Kenya's fight against terrorism, to you, has somewhere like Boston always seemed like a very safe place, how difficult was it to realize the same things could happen in Boston that you already deal with at home back in Kenya?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I think we learn from it.テつ Like me being here and looking at all that situation the way Boston Marathon and the way we handled it here in Boston, and then I went back home and see the same thing happening in Kenya, it assures that we are connected as a world.テつ We are connected.
And I was telling people in Kenya, it's not attacking Kenya alone.テつ They're attacking even people in Boston.テつ When you think about someone targeting Boston Marathon, you're targeting Americans, you're targeting how many countries a year?テつ Not all of them.
So we cannot personalize it because that's the one effect I saw, people in Kenya trying to personalize.テつ They're not targeting just Kenyans.テつ They're targeting Westerns.テつ We cannot personalize terrorism.テつ It's a global thing.
And one thing I learned when I took part, the first thing when I got to Parliament, the first speech I gave in it Parliament was about security, and one thing I learned that was very different that I wanted to implement in Kenya and now we're implementing is the contributions that comes from the civilians, that the police or the Army cannot do all the security.テつ People are the ones that need to help with security.
So I put that motion in Parliament, and it went through.テつ Now we have set up what is called Ten House, whereby you're responsible for what is going on, and you give pictures, and you send information to the police so that you can get information from the people.テつ And that's one thing that I learned a lot from.
Because when you are in Boston, the police were there for all this time, and they couldn't get the guys.テつ It took people taking pictures of what they saw for the police to put it together to be able to find them.
Think about the day after this guy was caught and he was hiding in a boat.テつ The police, they closed all of the streets, but they couldn't find him.テつ But it took one guy calling the police and saying, he's here.テつ So that's importance of civilians being part of it.テつ That's one thing that I took a lot from the Boston Marathon.

Q.テつ Was that something that was not really‑‑ people in Kenya, it was not part of the culture previously?テつ They had to learn to think that way.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ It wasn't at all.テつ In Kenya, what has been in Kenya, it's the work of the police, the work of the government to provide security.テつ That's what we're changing now.

Q.テつ What is your official title, member of Parliament or representative?テつ Like a British system?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Yes, member of Parliament.

Q.テつ Is it a two party system?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ It's a lot of parties.

Q.テつ You're the first independent ever?

Q.テつ You're a total independent?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I run as independent.テつ First independent ever as an MP.

Q.テつ Was it hard to get on the ballot?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ It was a lot of work because you have to campaign by yourself.テつ You don't have a party to support you.テつ People in Kenya were‑‑ the reason why there's never been an independent candidate is because people have this mind of party.テつ Party politics had taken center stage, all over the world, even in America.テつ Here you're Democrat or Republican.
What I wanted to do was change that.テつ Look at me as Wesley Korir.テつ Don't look at me as a member of a party because people have been able‑‑ have been putting people into office because they're just in a party, and they end up being really bad people.テつ So I wanted to present myself as independent.

Q.テつ What do you take from your running career that you use in politics?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Definitely is never give up.テつ I always say life is like a marathon.テつ It's only the strongest, the well‑prepared, and the one that holes on the longest that wins.
To me, when I was campaigning and I was doing all that campaigning, I just kept thinking about I'm in a marathon.テつ When I was getting calls to the election, I was thinking I'm now at 23 miles.テつ You can lose at this time.テつ I was like, you can lose at this time if you don't keep pushing, keep pushing.
Even right now when I'm doing all the development, I'm doing all the things that I'm doing in my area, the mentality of the marathon runner comes in telling me, don't give up.テつ Keep pushing.

Q.テつ As a member of the sports committee, what kind of duties do you have there?テつ What kind of issues come up?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Everything.テつ Like right now one thing I'm working on is the protection of athletes.テつ This is one thing that I'm going to fight and I'm going to fight for the next five years is protect the athletes.
This is something called modern day slavery.テつ Modern day slavery in Kenya are athletes.テつ I'm going to crack down especially on agents and managers.テつ You find there's this system whereby managers come from overseas like here or other countries.テつ We like them.テつ We love them.テつ They come over there.テつ They help our athletes.テつ But the idea of them coming there, putting these runners into training camps, and then pick one of them, come race them, when they get injured, they throw them away, go pick another one, it's the same way as the slaves they used to do.
What used to happen a long time ago is these people used to go put Africans in these camps, and then one person like you say I'm looking for a slave.テつ You come and you look for the strongest in the camp, and you pick them, you bring them here, you use them.テつ That's exactly like that.テつ What I'm trying to do is bring that out.テつ We need to end the modern day slavery and let the athletes themselves and the government be responsible for the training camps, and then the athletes themselves pick the agents.テつ Have the agents come there like here, when I was here, I was the one that picked my agent.テつ So we need the athletes themselves to get the power to understand who works for who and who the employee and who's the boss.テつ That is what I'm trying to do.
And another thing I'm working on is the taxation.テつ What is going on right now is the government is trying to tax the athletes double.テつ You're taxed here, and you go back to Kenya, and you're taxed 30 percent.テつ You're taxed here 30 percent.テつ You go back to Kenya, and you're taxed 30 percent.テつ 15 percent for the manager, that's 75 percent.テつ What does the athlete get?テつ Nothing.
So I'm trying to make sure, so I'm working with the government, working to make sure that all athletes that have been able to run here, prove they have been taxed here, get tax exempt in Kenya because they are bringing so much to kin YA.

Q.テつ Do you feel logistically how do you handle the agent issue?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ The agent issue, what we need to do is control them.テつ First of all, the agent, we need to regulate them.テつ Even the drug issues, that now is affecting our country.テつ It's not the Kenyans themselves who bring those drugs into the country.テつ We need to find out what is going on.テつ There's people who are responsible, and get those people who are responsible punished for it.
There are athletes who have come to me, telling me since 2009 the agents haven't paid them up until now.テつ That is not good.

Q.テつ Do you feel like a majority of the athletes are getting taken advantage of?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Very much.テつ The majority of athletes are taken advantage of.テつ There's agents that are working well, but we want to bring them into a system where athletes aren't taken advantage of.

Q.テつ Do the athletes talk amongst themselves when it happens?テつ Why does that still continue so much?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Me being part of them now, I think it's one thing that now they're able to share with me.テつ I think in the past they've never had that voice.テつ They've never had that person that they share with.
Everybody knows about it, but they do nothing because of the system.テつ So me being there, I think they've been able to feel free to share some of the difficulties and some of the what they go through.テつ That's how it's become my responsibility to become their voice as they need it.
So really when I look at myself, I'm not just a member of Parliament for my area, but also I'm a member of Parliament for all athletes in Kenya.

Q.テつ Kenya takes such pride in the tradition of distance running, and you said the athletes are so respected.テつ Why in the past do you think so few have tried to use that success into politics as you have?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I think most of the athletes are very introverted.テつ They keep to themselves.テつ That's why even the problems, most of them they face, they never share with anyone because they're introverted, like keeping to themselves.
So I am one guy that I'm an extrovert.テつ I'm not scared of anybody.テつ I'm a guy that stands for myself.テつ So that's the difference now.テつ And I'm trying to bring that out of the athletes now.
Like an example is‑‑ you take an example‑‑ I'll give this example world record holder, he's battling a lot of issues.テつ He's a guy that has just arrived in Kenya, broken the world record.テつ One day, the following day he gets a letter from the ministry of finance.テつ You broke the world record.テつ This is how much you made.テつ And they're guessing, this is how much it is.テつ This is how much you're supposed to pay.テつ He hasn't even rested, and he comes to me, the first day he calls me, Wesley, I just got a letter from ministry of finance that I need to pay, and he's the world record holder.
So he's demoralized the moment he gets back.

Q.テつ His manager isn't handling that for him?テつ That's what they're for.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ There's a lot of issues that needs to be handled.テつ Never comes out.テつ And it's now my duty as a member of Parliament to help them.

Q.テつ How much were you affected by going to college here?テつ You mentioned you were here.テつ You picked your own agent.テつ You came up through the college system.テつ How much have you been affected by seeing how things are done here.テつ We have plenty of problems here, but being able to see how things can be done differently.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I think everything.テつ I think I am now who I am because of the American culture and the American system.
I think one thing that puts me ahead as a politician because I've learned things here.テつ First of all, trying to fight corruption.テつ There's two things that I learned a lot from here.テつ I learned that, if you do things the right way, you will succeed.テつ But in Kenya, a lot of people do things the crooked way, and you find our country being what it is.テつ One thing I've done that's truly the right way, stand for what is right.テつ And I think that's what I've done.テつ I'm comfortable being in America.
What America did was you woke up that lion in me.テつ It's something in me, and what America did was turn it on.テつ Now I'm taking it back to Kenya.

Q.テつ Can we just ask you the question we'd ask anybody else.テつ How about this race?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Thank you for asking.テつ I was wondering how long that it would take.
I'm excited to be here.テつ Being in New York Marathon is a dream of mine.テつ After this race, I can honestly say I've run all the major marathons in the U.S.テつ that's one thing that I'm excited about.
And I am really‑‑ my goal, as always, and will always be to win all the major marathons in the West.テつ So I've won the Boston Marathon.テつ Came very close in Chicago, but I look forward to going back to Chicago.テつ I'm here now.テつ I have a chance in New York Marathon to do one of the things that I want to do.
My goal is, before I retire, to win all the major mare not THOs.テつ So I'm here really to win.テつ I'm not here to do anything but to win because, if I win here, I'll have Boston out, New York out, and I go concentrate now‑‑ I would love to concentrate on Chicago.テつ That would be my next goal.

Q.テつ Do you think it would suit you to have a race without pace makers?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ That's definitely all the races I've won, all of them has been.テつ Because I train by myself.テつ I train by myself.テつ I do everything by myself.テつ So coming into this race where there's no pace makers, it is something that I'm really looking forward to because I have done well in every race that doesn't have a pacemaker.

Q.テつ Between your penchant for championship races and lack of a pacemaker, the nature of the course, do you not have a specific time goal?

Q.テつ Are you just I want to win.テつ I don't care what the time is.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I think what I'm going for is definitely the win.テつ I don't really care about the time.
Right now I'm just doing, with my kind of job, with my kind of life, I think putting yourself to think about time would be stressing yourself.テつ I think what is important for me is performing well.

Q.テつ [ No microphone.]
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Honestly, I don't know.テつ I don't want to talk about that.テつ I don't want to talk about the fitness.テつ There's the times that I've been fit and I ran well.テつ There's times that I haven't been fit, and I ran well.
I've done the best‑‑ all I know is I've done the best I can.テつ Every opportunity I got to run, I made sure that I made the best of it.
Every‑‑ if it's one hour I have for running, I did the best I can.テつ If it was a day for long run, I did the best I can.テつ If it was six mile tempo, four mile tempo, I did the best I can.テつ So I know it puts me to be very competitive in this race.

Q.テつ What did you learn about yourself last year as an athlete just going into Boston with very minimal training?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I think one thing I learned about myself is I have the talent.テつ I've got the talent.テつ Also, I learned about myself being I can fight.テつ I'm a big fighter.テつ I don't give up.テつ And I don't‑‑ I don't care about what other people think and what other people feel like.テつ I care about what I think and what is important for me.

Q.テつ So you were mentioning, because of your job, you have‑‑ is this a reason why you train alone?テつ Because let's say all the other Kenyan competitive runners, they train in big groups and stuff like this.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Yeah, because of my job, I can't really get myself into the big groups.テつ I can't get myself into a camp.テつ So I set my own camp.
But I run with my bodyguard.テつ I run with my bodyguard.

Q.テつ They run with the guns and keep up with you.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ The government was good enough to look for me a 2:06 marathoner, and he was a policeman and gave him the gun.テつ So I train with him.テつ I'm able to train with him.
So we run, and my car follows us next.テつ My driver is also my bodyguard, and he's also a policeman.テつ So I have two.テつ So he's the one that sits with the gun in the car.テつ My bodyguard really is the one that‑‑ normally, when I'm running, he's the one that runs, make sure cars coming behind, cars coming in front.テつ He runs in front of me to block the car.テつ If a car's coming back, he's behind me to tell the cars slow down.
So he's really like protective.

Q.テつ He runs more than you then.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ He does run more than me.テつ He's a 2:06 guy.テつ We call him the race because he'd given up running.テつ He ran 2:06 about three years ago.テつ He's given up running, and he was about to retire.テつ I got him, and I told him I trained with him.テつ He's running a race in China, and he's coming.

Q.テつ What's his name?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Charles Seonei.テつ He was second in Amsterdam.

Q.テつ What's his last name?

Q.テつ Based on what you've seen to be successful in New York, what do you think it will take to come out with a victory here?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I think it will take patience.テつ I think the way you saw‑‑ you know, you think about everyone here being patient.テつ I think it will be patient and waiting for the right time.テつ What I'm looking to do is relax, be patient, and wait for the right time.
But you have Mutai, who was in very good shape.テつ That's what he says.テつ And he's been training with guys for low times.テつ So there's a probability of him going for the record.
I think it's just for me, I think I come here to be attentive.テつ If the pace sits, I'll sit.テつ If the‑‑ if they break out and go, I'm going to put myself in a position to win.
So I would just‑‑ you know, how it goes.

Q.テつ So if Mutai goes for it, you go out there.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I'll go.

Q.テつ Are you going to check the boards?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I never check.

Q.テつ How did you‑‑ you didn't race anything since Boston?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ No, I haven't.

Q.テつ And how is Parliament?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Parliament is good.テつ It's good.テつ Trying to balance Parliament and running has been fun.

Q.テつ Is Parliament in session all‑‑ like‑‑ how much time does Parliament take up?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Wednesday and Thursday, I'm in Parliament.テつ Monday through Friday.テつ Saturday, Sunday, I am training.
When you think about it, Friday is mostly traveling because I have to go back to my constituency.テつ Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I'm training.テつ And then Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I'm in Parliament.

Q.テつ You go back to Nairobi?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Yeah, I go back to Nairobi.

Q.テつ How far is it to home?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ About a five‑hour drive.テつ But 30 minutes flight.

Q.テつ How much time do you spend now in Canada or the States anymore?テつ Pretty much all Kenya?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ No, pretty much all Kenya.テつ I spend a few‑‑ right now I've been here about two weeks in America.

Q.テつ Past two weeks?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Last two weeks.

Q.テつ Where's your wife?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ She's in Kenya.テつ Yeah, they're all‑‑ we all moved to Kenya.テつ So she's in Kenya.テつ She's busy right now.テつ She's representing me at a lot of events.テつ She's the first lady.テつ So she does a lot.

Q.テつ How is everyone adapting to the new lifestyle?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ She's adapting very well.テつ She's a hard working lady.テつ She's adapting very well.テつ I think she's frustrated.テつ There's some frustration.テつ But I think she's doing well.

Q.テつ And being that you were the first guy as an independent candidate to win a seat like that, and you were a young guy who didn't come from that system, how have you been embraced in the Parliament?テつ Are you looked at as an outsider, or are they very welcoming, or they're afraid of you?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ It's everything.テつ They respect me.テつ That's one thing I know.テつ I get a lot of respect for being an independent candidate, for running.テつ So they respect me, and everybody wants to talk to me because, as an independent candidate, you're not tied to anything.

Q.テつ Everyone is doing what with you?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Wants to be with me because I make friends from both sides.テつ It's not like, oh, you're from this party or this party?

Q.テつ Are they trying to lure you into their orbit?

Q.テつ But that's not why you're there, right?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ That's not why I'm there.テつ I'm there to represent my people.テつ I'm here because of the people that sent me here, not because of the politics.

Q.テつ Has it been‑‑ how eye‑opening has it been?テつ I know that, when I first made the drive from Nairobi, the streets were so bad, and there's a five‑ton weight limit, but everyone in the government owns the ten‑ton trucks.テつ This is the nature of that part of the world.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ It has been eye‑opening for me.テつ I think one thing that I've opened the‑‑ the eyes that have opened for me, the one thing that I was able to really be‑‑ that I've been able to see is the potential of the country.テつ So that is the most important thing that I've noticed.テつ Also, I've noticed the reason why Kenya is the way it is is because selfish, greedy, and bad leadership.テつ Is sycophants.テつ People are such sycophants; worship the politicians instead of standing for what is right.

Q.テつ How I remember‑‑ it might not be now, but before you came into office, weren't the Kenyan Parliamentarians the highest paid in the world?テつ In a country with a $700 annual wage, and every politician that goes to the Olympics or world championships is $5,000 to $10,000 a day.テつ Isn't that insane?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Something that, if you followed me when I went to Parliament for the first time, that was one thing I fought.テつ I was the only politician to stand against the pay raise because the politicians wanted to increase their pay, their salary, and I said I'm not‑‑ I don't think‑‑ I think it's wrong.

Q.テつ What's the salary for someone in Parliament?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Right now it's about $10,000 a month.

Q.テつ A month in Kenya?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ They used to be the highest paid in the world.テつ Used to be $15,000.

Q.テつ And they pay for your transportation back and all that?テつ That's why they go into office.
WESLEY KORIR:テつ That's the reason because people now don't go to office in Kenya because of wanting to because it has been incentive because you want to do it.

Q.テつ Why do you do this?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I think I always say, if I'm here, then I run.テつ I don't like the kind of marathon where people sit and sit and kick it in.テつ I want to be able to work for it.テつ I always say we have to separate men from boys, and that's what I always do.テつ I always like break up the field so that there's strong ones that stay.
Because there are always those people that would sit and sit and wait until 100 meters and 200 meters and kick.テつ I don't like that.

Q.テつ But you're not really a speed runner.テつ Sometimes it doesn't work?テつ But you still want to do it?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I don't know what I'm going to do, but me, I hate the fact that people sit and sit and sit and wait for the kick.テつ I hate that.テつ I want to be honest, I'm here to compete.テつ We're here to compete.テつ Let's run.

Q.テつ So not having a pacemaker in this run, it may work for you?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I hope it work for me.

Q.テつ How many kilometers difference is there now when you're traveling compared to doing nothing but‑‑
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I think definitely right now I was telling people I'm doing 20 miles less than what I used to do.

Q.テつ Per week?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ Per week.テつ But still I feel like I'm better than what I was before Boston.テつ So I'm in between.

Q.テつ Were you in New Jersey training?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I came to Jersey.

Q.テつ What kind of training did you do there?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ I did some speed work with the New Jersey Track Club.

Q.テつ When was that, this week?
WESLEY KORIR:テつ It was two weeks ago.

Q.テつ Two weeks ago?

Q.テつ With the New York/New Jersey Track Club.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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