World Record Holder and seven-time World Marathon Majors winner Mary Keitany of Kenya announced her retirement at the age of 39 due to a back injury she sustained in 2019.
“Now is the time to say goodbye – if only as an elite runner – to the sport I love so much,” she said.
“After my successful 2019, when I had some good results including a 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 added in her statement.
“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.
“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 8. In addition, I am involved with some local charitable enterprises.”
Keitany holds the world record for a women-only marathon with a time of two hours 17 minutes and one second. She set the unmatchable record when winning the third of her Virgin Money London Marathon titles in 2017.
She won the New York Marathon four times, the London Marathon on three occasions as well as triumphing at the 2009 World Half Marathon Championships.