The women’s only world marathon recorder holder said on Thursday soon after landing at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi from New York that she will discuss with her manager about whether she will be running in the Middle East at the Worlds or she will defend her New York title that she has won four times.
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“For now, I wish to take some time off to relax and celebrate with my family as I wait for my manager to come over the next 10 days,” said Keitany.
Keitany, 36, blew the field apart on Sunday to emphatically win her fourth New York Marathon women’s title, finishing in two hours, 22 minutes and 48 seconds – the second fastest time ever run across the five boroughs of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan.
A remarkable performance by any standard. But if she expected a hero’s welcome in Nairobi, the reception was anything but.
There was no official welcome for her either from the government or Athletics Kenya.
The 2018 New York City Marathon champion Mary Keitany (right), her husband Charles Koech (second left), son Jared Kipchumba (second left) and daughter Samantha Jerop at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi upon arrival from New York on November 8, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO |
When asked about the lacklustre reception Keitany, who was honoured in the American city by being allowed to ring the bell at the New York stock exchange, said: “I have nothing to say but I am still proud of my country.”
“When we are celebrating a win out there, Kenya proudly celebrates with us,” she said requesting the government to recognise and support athletes since their triumphs help to improve the image of the country internationally.
Keitany was accompanied by her husband-coach Charles Koech and their two children: 10-year-old Jared Kipchumba and five-year-old Samantha Jerop.
Keitany confessed that her children heavily boosted her spirits in the run up to the race and the actual competition.
Keitany holds the world record in a women-only marathon, with her of 2:17:01 winning time at the 2017 London Marathon. She is also a former half marathon world record holder.
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