World record holder and seven-time World Marathon Majors winner Mary Keitany has hanged her running shoes.
Keitany announced her retirement on Wednesday (22) after a stellar career which saw her win the London Marathon on three occasions and the New York Marathon four times, as well as triumph at the 2009 World Half Marathon Championships.
The 39 years-old, also still holds the marathon world record for a women-only race, having clocked a stunning 2:17.01 when winning the third of her Virgin Money London Marathon titles in 2017.
Keitany’s spoke through her management, Demadonna Athletic Promotions, “However, I’m sad to say, a back injury that I suffered in late 2019 made a decision about my retirement for me. 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. So now is the time to say goodbye – if only as an elite runner – to the sport I love so much.”
Keitany first came to global attention in 2007, after local success in Kenya the previous year, with a series of good performances in European half marathons which then earned her a place in the Kenyan team at that year’s World Half Marathon Championships.
Keitany won the 2009 world half marathon title in Birmingham, England, by over a minute in 1:06:36, at the time the second fastest mark ever on a record-legal course and an African record. She also led Kenya to the team gold medals.
After finishing third in New York on her marathon debut in 2010, her first major marathon win came in her next race over the classic distance when she triumphed in the 2011 Virgin Money London Marathon and further victories in the British capital came in 2012 and 2017.
She will also be remembered fondly for her three impressive consecutive wins in the New York Marathon between 2014 and 2016 before winning in the Big Apple again in 2018.
“As for the future, I haven’t fully decided on my plans but I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family. My children are currently 13 and eight. In addition, I am involved with some local charitable enterprises,” said Keitany, who added that she still intends to pay close attention to what is happening in the world of distance running.