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Meet the Marathon Runner Everyone is Out to Beat – Mary Keitany

With the New York Marathon around the corner and a fourth consecutive win in sight, this Kenyan wonder woman talks fans and family.

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What's your game plan?

She’s just run 2hrs 17mins 1sec in the London Marathon to set the World Record in a women’s only race and Mary Keitany is still running; this time through the halls of the adidas HQ chasing her 8-year-old son, Jared, and 3-year-old daughter, Samantha. I met Mary and her very proud family in April after her cool and calculated run that rewrote the history books and put the 35-year-old on a whole new level in women’s marathon racing.

Mary and the GamePlan A team got some time together to discuss how she trains, races and parents so successfully.

This is Mary Keitany’s game plan.

Firstly, Mary, congratulations on your record breaking win. How do you manage to juggle training, racing, business and being a mother of two small kids?

It’s not easy to keep things going but I have great support around me, especially from my husband. He’s my coach, he’s my pacemaker and he’s there for the kids.

My kids have grown up with my running, they understand I’m an athlete and they know that I have to work extra hard for them. They know not to make a lot of noise when I come back from a long run. They know I have to rest so they go out and play.

Since they were babies, I’ve always taken them to my big races, to London and New York.

Have you passed on your ambition and drive to them?

Yes, to Jared especially. He loves football but last year he took part in a discovery run in Kenya. He finished 70th but only the top 50 kids got a T-shirt. He was crying for the whole day as he missed out so this January he went back and finished in the top 30 and got his T-shirt!

What’s a typical morning like in your house?

I wake up at 3am on the days I need to do my long runs. I travel first to our training base in a hilly area and then run around 30 kilometers. I need to get this done before the sun comes up and it gets too hot.

Then I get back and need to rest, check in with everyone to see if things are under control. I have a hotel with my husband and at the moment I’m a director but in the future I’d think about managing it more.

From the hills of Kenya to the streets of London and New York – tell me what’s pushing you to run faster and faster?

In New York it’s the fans in Central Park who are willing you to get to the finish line. It’s always really exciting. In London, running by the Queen’s house (Buckingham Palace) with fans making a lot of noise helps me to keep pushing on. Both sets of supporters are amazing from the first mile to the last mile.

And finally with a gesture, show us how it feels to become the fastest marathon runner in the world.

Mary Keitany_running pose


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