World Record Holder Mary Keitany Retires After Injury

  • Kenya's Mary Keitany celebrates after winning the women's elite race at the London marathon on April 23, 2017 in London.
    Kenya's Mary Keitany celebrates after winning the women's elite race at the London marathon on April 23, 2017 in London.
  • Kenya's celebrated marathoner Mary Keitany on Tuesday, September 22, announced her retirement at the age of 39 due to a back injury. 

    Keitany is the current holder of the world record for a women-only marathon where she clocked a time of two hours 17 minutes one second, which she set during the London Marathon in 2017. 

    She bids goodbye to her career as an elite runner, something she loved so much. 

    Mary Keitany celebrates after winning the Pro Women's division during the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon in Central Park on November 1, 2015
    Mary Keitany celebrates after winning the Pro Women's division during the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon in Central Park on November 1, 2015

    "After my success in 2019, when I had some good results including second place in New York, I was hopeful that I could still be very competitive internationally for several more years even though I am in my late 30s," Keitany noted in her statement. 

    Her decision to retire was due to a back injury that she suffered in late 2019 which barred her from returning to compete. 

    "I couldn't get the treatment I wanted in Europe because of the pandemic-related travel restrictions last year and every time I thought I had got over the injury and started training hard, it became a problem again” she added 

    She noted that she did not know what would be next in her future but indicated that she hoped to focus more of her time with her family as she plans. 

    The celebrated marathon athlete's first global success came in 2007 when she won an individual silver and team gold at the World Half Marathon Championships. 

    The following year in 2008 after the birth of her first kid she clinched the World Half Marathon title again in Birmingham, England. 

    She began her career in the full marathon in New York Marathon 2010 where she finished third and later the following year emerged as the London Marathon winner. 

    After another break in 2013 as she was expectant, she made her return in 2014 where she was able to emerge victorious clinching three consecutive pole position tittles in New York between 2014 and 2016  

    She went on to become the first Kenyan woman to win the title four times when she was victorious again in 2018. 

    Mary Keitany crosses the finish line in Central Park to win the women’s division of the 2018 New York City Marathon on Nov. 4 in Central Park.
    Mary Keitany crosses the finish line in Central Park to win the women’s division of the 2018 New York City Marathon on Nov. 4 in Central Park.