Mary Jepkosgei Keitany is a former professional long-distance runner holding a world record in a woman-only marathon in the 2017 London marathon at a time of 2:17: 01. She is a daughter to Juda and Jane Chepkeitany. Keitany was born on the 18th of January, 1982 in Baringo county.
Her childhood is nothing but humbling in the eyes of her fans and mentees. She once took a journalist to the area she used to sit way up a hill in the small remote area of the Kiplombe location watching the sunset. Mary ran a distance of 20km to and from school every morning. To get money to continue with her education, she worked as a housemaid. After completing primary school, she took care of three kids when she was under the age of seven.
During one of her interviews, she admitted her job wasn’t an easy one, her daily tasks included preparing the younger ones for school, and cleaning the house among others. Although the pay was low she managed to buy amenities and goodies for her family back home.
Her luck took a turn in 2011 when she enrolled in the National Hidden Talents Academy which was a private secondary school for orphaned and underprivileged children. Under the mentorship of Linah Chesire, her career began when she met and stayed with future legends, Christine Chepkonga, Gladys Chepkirui, and June Jepkoech. Her first international win in Seville Half Marathon made her realize running was her true calling.
She has gone on to win marathons, breaking and setting records while doing what she knows best, running.
Mary Jepkosgei career
She was ranked 21st in her senior race at the Shoe for Africa 5 km women’s 2006 race. In April 2006, she set a new world record of 2:17: 01 at the London marathon that was initially held by Radcliffe. Mary bettered it by 41 seconds at the 2005 London Marathon.
At the World Road Running Championships, she won the silver medal by finishing second to Lornah Kiplagat who broke the world record. In the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Championships, she attained the second position winning a silver medal.
Achieved the honor of becoming the seventh fastest run of all time in the 2009 Lille Half Marathon.
In 2011, she participated in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in UAE, London, and New York Marathon finishing first and third positions respectively. At the London Marathon, she retained her title and won gold making a new record of 2: 18: 37.
In 2016, participating in the Beach to Beacon 10K run, in the USA, she finished at the top at a time of 30: 45: 0. For the New York Marathon, she managed to finish 2nd where she announced her retirement due to a hip injury.
Mary Jepkosgei Keitany husband, children and family
In 2006, Keitany got married to Charles Koech who is also a former runner. They were happily blessed with three children. She gave birth to her first child, Jared Kipchumba in June 2008, and her second baby, Samantha, in April 2013. She however stopped her sporting activities during her third pregnancy but resumed when it was six months old.
Mary Jepkosgei achivements
She stands third all-time at the marathon and eleventh place in the half marathon. Mary has had the most page visits on the English Wikipedia with 10,944 views accompanied by the Spanish version with 1,616 and the French version with 1,544 views in the past year.
The star opened the Mary Keitany School in Elgeyo Marakwet, ensuring young girls get an opportunity to education. The foundations were financed by Shoe4Africa and honored Keitany and her husband to sit on the school board.
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Mary Jepkosgei Keitany retirement
She declared her retirement on Wednesday, 22nd September due to a hip injury during the 2019 London Marathon. Mary Keitany was 39 years old at the time of retirement.