This trio of marathoners illustrates the power of team, even in an individual sport. The first, Aliphine, is one of 32 siblings (Her father had four wives). She traveled a long road from a tiny village in Kenya to Wichita State University to All-American status and finally to U.S. citizenship. Though her American dream has included nine U.S. running titles at various distances, she entered the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials as a heavy underdog. Her teammates from HOKA Northern Arizona Elite, Kellyn and Steph, were considered viable candidates for the three-person team to represent the United States in Tokyo. In the end, though, Aliphine beat her teammates and the rest of the field. Steph and Kellyn finished sixth and eighth, respectively, with Steph missing an Olympic berth by just 19 seconds. Their first reaction was to embrace Aliphine, wrapping her in the American flag. Despite personal disappointment, Steph and Kellyn lifted up a teammate, who had sacrificed so much and toiled in obscurity, to celebrate and share an American immigrant success story.

“How do you celebrate your performance... yet at the same time, recognize that your teammates are here and their dreams didn't come true that day? But the way they handled themselves was incredible.” Aliphine Tuliamuk