Marathon record-holder Mary Keitany retires at 39

The Kenyan decided to end her career because of an injury which she could not get treated due to pandemic-related impediments.

Published : Sep 22, 2021 17:56 IST

Marathon runner Mary Keitany retired from the sport on Wednesday because of a back injury, ending a career in which she won multiple races in London and New York and set the world record for a women-only race.

The 39-year-old from Kenya said that pandemic-related travel restrictions have stopped her from coming to Europe to get treatment on an injury sustained in 2019.

“Every time I thought I had got over the injury and started training hard, it became a problem again,” Keitany said. “So now is the time to say goodbye — if only as an elite runner — to the sport I love so much.”

ALSO READ | Seven female Afghan taekwondo athletes resettle in Australia

Keitany won the London Marathon three times, in 2011, ’12 and ’17.

In her victory in 2017, she finished in 2 hours, 17 minutes, 1 second.

Only two women — Brigid Kosgei and Paula Radcliffe — have run a marathon quicker and they were in races also containing male pacesetters.

World Athletics makes a distinction between the record times set by Keitany and Kosgei, who ran the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04.

Keitany is a four-time winner of the New York City Marathon (2014-16 and ’18), and has also won the world half marathon title in 2009.

She said she has no specific plans for the future and is looking forward to spending more time with her family.

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment