mIKE kOOZMIN/tHE s.f. eXAMINERA sales associate helps runners Shadrack Chepyego

mIKE kOOZMIN/tHE s.f. eXAMINERA sales associate helps runners Shadrack Chepyego

Kenyan marathon runners get decked out California-style

Kenyan marathoners Shadrack Chepyego and Japhet Koech arrived in San Francisco through a crowdsourcing effort ready to hit the ground running with a couple of workout outfits, but they didn’t seem prepared to weather the latest cold snap.

So San Francisco resident Conyers Davis — who read about Chepyego and Koech in the book “Running with the Kenyans” and wanted to give them an opportunity to run the California International Marathon — brought them to Gap’s flagship store on Market Street for a shopping spree Wednesday.

Sales associates helped the overwhelmed Kenyans pick some fashionable clothes. Koech, 26, had picked out a sky-blue basic T-shirt but accepted a fancier suggestion — a graphic tee of The City’s iconic bridge with “Golden State of Mind” lettering.

“That’s the bridge you’ve been running to every day,” said Davis, 34. “You’re going to look like Californians by the time you leave.”

Chepyego, 25, planned to give his first finds to family members before realizing he was being asked to shop for everyone, including himself.

“It’s something very wonderful for me,” he said. “I was not expecting things like this.”

The donated American consumer experience was a last-minute addition to “Kenyafornia,” the crowdsourcing effort Davis fronted, which raised $8,770 so the Kenyans could run the marathon from Folsom to the state capitol taking place Sunday.

Koech, who along with Chepyego will return home Dec. 12, said the experience has been strange but it brought him much happiness.

“I feel like I’m in another world,” he said. “This is a sign of love. I love it.”Bay Area NewsJaphet KoechKenyaShadrack Chepyego

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

San Francisco supervisors could be poised to approve legislation that would allocate… Continue reading

Visitors read a notice hanging on the Polk Street entrance to City Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly after the building was closed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Hall reopening to the public on June 7 after long closure due to COVID-19

San Francisco will reopen City Hall to the public on June 7… Continue reading

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and running back Raheem Mostert (31) celebrate after Mostert scores his fourth rushing touchdown in the third quarter as the 49ers take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
49ers on prime-time TV five times in 2021

Usually a team that finishes in last place and won only six… Continue reading

Many famillies have supported keeping John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park free of car traffic. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over future of JFK Drive heats up

Shamann Walton compares accessibilty issues to segregation, likens street closure to ‘1950s South’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, pictured in March, is unveiling a series of budget proposals this week. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Newsom’s school plan has billions for college savings accounts, after school programs and more

Hannah Wiley The Sacramento Bee California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to send… Continue reading

Most Read