The Kalenjin are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting much of what was the Rift Valley Province in Kenya. They are estimated to number a little over 4.9 million individuals as per the Kenyan 2009 census. The Kalenjin have been called by some “the running tribe.” Since the mid-1960s, Kenyan men have earned the largest share of major honors in international athletics (track and field) at distances from 800 meters to the marathon; the vast majority of these Kenyan running stars have been Kalenjin.
From 1980 on, about 40% of the top honours available to men in international athletics at these distances (Olympic medals, World Championships medals, and World Cross Country Championships honours) have been earned by Kalenjin. Paul Tergat setting a new world record to the marathon at Berlin, 2003.