Keitany says mastery of course key to her NYC supremacy


Nov 4, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Mary Keitany smiles after crossing the finish line to win ...
Nov 4, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Mary Keitany smiles after crossing the finish line to win the Professional Women's division of the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon. (PHOTO/Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

In Summary

  • Four-time New York City marathon champion Mary Keitany has said her familiarity with the course has played a key role in her brilliant performance in the marathon over the years
  • Keitany reclaimed the New York title on Sunday after a barnstorming display, clocking 2:22:48 to claim her fourth victory in seven appearances at the ‘Big Apple’

Four-time New York City marathon champion Mary Keitany has said her familiarity with the course has played a key role in her brilliant performance in the marathon over the years.

Keitany reclaimed the New York title on Sunday after a barnstorming display, clocking 2:22:48 for her fourth victory in seven appearances at the ‘Big Apple’.

Her latest win cut her out as one of the most decorated athletes ever to grace the competition with four titles, only second to Norwegian Grete Waitz who won nine titles between 1978 and 1988.

“For sure I have been accustomed to the New York Course which is similar to where we train here in Kenya. Furthermore, I have been there since 2010 thus I can say I have vast experience on the course,” said Keitany told Citizen Digital after jetting back to the country on Thursday.

Keitany made her New York debut back in 2010 where she won bronze before claiming for the same medal a year later.

The 36-year-old’s best streak was yet to come as she won successive titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016 before falling back to silver in 2017 when home girl Shalane Flanangan claimed the crown.

Her response this year was as emphatic as they came, scorching the field to deliver the second fastest display as she fell only 17 seconds short of breaking the course record of 2:22:31 set by compatriot Margaret Okayo in 2003.

Family support

The three-time London Marathon champion is married to Charles Koech who is also her coach and Keitany said the inspiration from her husband and family in general gives her extra motivation.

“I also thank my family for the support they have given me especially my husband who is also my coach who has been really supportive and I really owe him all my victory and successes,” added Keitany.

On his part, Koech said the family love has also played a big role in her partners’ success story.

“It actually true that I have been training Mary and even apart from that we give her our total support as a family which has really worked wonders,” observed Koech.

World record

Keitany attempted to break the Women’s World Record of 2:15:25 set by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe 15 years ago in this Year’s London Marathon but failed to make as she finished fifth despite using male pacemakers.

According to Koech they are still weighing the possibility of another record assault next year.

“Early this year she( Keitany) tried to break the record in London but it was not possible and for now we are yet to see what we can do concerning that,”  disclosed Koech.

Celebrations will now shift to her Iten home in Elgeyo Marakwet County where she will have a rest before planning her next race together with her manager.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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