Set the world record for a women-only race, Covid blocked her traveling to get treatment for 2019 injury

Marathon runner Mary Keitany retired from the sport on Wednesday because of a back injury, ending a career in which she won multiple races in London and New York and set the world record for a women-only race, the Associated Press reports.

The 39-year-old Kenyan said pandemic-related travel restrictions have stopped her from coming to Europe to get treatment on an injury sustained in 2019.

“Every time I thought I had got over the injury and started training hard, it became a problem again,” Keitany said. “So now is the time to say goodbye — if only as an elite runner — to the sport I love so much.”

Keitany won the London Marathon three times, in 2011, ’12 and ’17. In her victory in 2017, she finished in 2 hours, 17 minutes, 1 second. Only two women — Brigid Kosgei and Paula Radcliffe — have run a marathon quicker and they were in races also containing male pacesetters.

World Athletics makes a distinction between the record times set by Keitany and Kosgei, who ran the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04.

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