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Kenyan Runners Get Rock Star Treatment At Hopkinton School

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BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a marathon tradition that never seems to get old.

Hundreds of Elmwood Elementary School students packed the gymnasium Thursday giving rock star treatment to Kenyan runners. The star-studded cast included last years mien’s and woman’s winners.

“We’re the only ones in the whole country that gets to have the most elite athletes from a country come to spend time with us” said Ilene Silver, the principal of Elmwood Elementary School.

As most people know, marathoning is an important part of the Kenyan culture and a source of national pride.

Thursday’s guests included the Kenyan ambassador to the U.S.

“Thank you, thank you for 20 years for receiving the Kenyan athletes. The group that is sitting in front of you are the absolute, absolute best in the world,” U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Elkanah Odembo said to the students.

The school orchestra played the Kenyan and U.S. national anthems and a former Elmwood student, now in high school, remembered the day he sat in the same gym.

“There was a whole lot of cheering and right then I wanted to win and I wanted to hear the cheering again. So, I started training hard and by the end of sophomore year I was running 4:40 miles,” said the student.

It’s hard to believe 20 years have passed since this great tradition began.

To put it in perspective, more than 11,000 members of the Hopkinton community have participated in this event during these two decades.

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