Four Things To Know About Leonard Korir

Four Things To Know About Leonard Korir

Here are four things to know about Leonard Korir, the third-place finisher at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, and potential 2024 Olympian.

Feb 6, 2024 by Maxx Bradley
Four Things To Know About Leonard Korir

In 2020, Leonard Korir was the first man left off of the U.S. Olympic marathon team, finishing fourth by just three seconds. 

Don't worry. He made amends for that finish. 

On Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando, Florida, Korir was 37 seconds behind third place at the 24 mile mark, and things were looking grim. 

A mile later, Korir worked his way up, but he was still 18 seconds back of the last unofficial qualifying spot. 

Then, over the last mile, Korir eventually surged past both Zach Panning and Elkanah Kibet to claim the final podium spot and do everything in his power to hopefully solidify a trip to Paris this summer. 

Here are four things to know about one of the best marathoners in the country.



Korir is a SSG (Staff Sergeant) in the United States Army and he's also one of the select soldiers as part of the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). This program allows elite soldier-athletes to train and compete at the international level while simultaneously serving in the military. A few other notable distance runners who are currently a part of the program include both Benard Keter and Sam Chelanga.


Before he enlisted in the military, Korir spent three years of his collegiate career at Iona University, a smaller Division I university located in the New York City Metro. Throughout his time as a Killian, Korir won a pair of national titles in the 10,000m and indoor 5,000m, along with four other All-American finishes. He also won four MAAC titles between indoor and outdoor.


Although this will be his first opportunity to represent the United States in the marathon, Korir is no stranger to donning the red, white and blue on the sport's biggest stages. In 2016, he qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio in the 10K, where he finished 14th. In both 2017 and 2019, he qualified for the World Championships in London and Doha, both in the 10K.


The 2016 Olympian was born in Iten, Kenya, where he was the oldest of six children. Before coming to America to compete for Iona, he attended the Kipsangui Boys High School and the Tambach Teachers College and found inspiration in the world-class Kenyan runner Paul Tergat.

Despite his grit and toughness he displayed on Saturday, Korir will have to wait until May 5 to see if he'll be toeing the Olympic line come July.