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Edna Kiplagat: Oldest Athlete In Kenya To Win A World Marathon At 41

  • Edna Kiplagat defied the odds to become the oldest athlete to win a major world marathon.
  • The 44 year old is a mother of five.

Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat (Born on 15th November 1979) is an athlete and marathon champion. A policewoman in Iten, Kiplagat set the record as the oldest athlete to ever win a world marathon major at the age of 41. She has an impressive career record spanning over two decades. 

Here is her illustrious career on the tracks as compiled by WoK

Athletic career 

During the 1996 world junior championships, Kiplagat won silver, which was followed by a bronze at the 1998 championships. 

At the 2006 world cross country championships, she finished at position 13. The same year, she went on to win the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. 

In 2007, she won the Lilac Bloomsday Run and the Bay to Breakers race in San Fransisco. 

In 2010, she won $5,000 after finishing second at the Freihofer’s Run for Women. She went on to finish  third at both the Beach to Beacon race and Falmouth Road Race. 

The same year, she won the Los Angeles marathon in what was her second marathon ever. Then, she won the 2010 New York city marathon. 

In 2011, she finished second at the New York city half marathon and then third at the 2011 London Marathon. The same year, she won the world championships.

During the last 5km of the race, she fell and was helped to her feet by Sharon Cherop who took third place. That year, the first three positions were held by Kenyans. 

At the beginning of 2012, she took third place at the Kenya crosscountry championships. She then came second at the 2012 London Marathon and a winner at the New York Mini 10k in June.

During the London Olympics marathon, she took the 20th position and weeks later took second place at the Great North Run. 

In 2013, she came second at the London Marathon and won the world athletics championships. This win made her the first woman to retain the marathon world title. 

In 2014, she won the London Marathon and finished 13 at the New York City Marathon.

In 2015, she took 11th place at the London Marathon and fifth place at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. 

In 2016, she finished third at the Tokyo Marathon and second at the Chicago Marathon.

In 2017, the then 37-year-old was elated after winning the Boston marathon. This was followed by a silver medal at the World Championships in Athletics. 

On the brink of her 42nd birthday in 2021, she came in second at the Boston Marathon. Diana Kipyokei beat her by 24 seconds. 

However, Edna was named the winner after Diana was disqualified over the use of a performance enhancing drug. This made Edna the right winner and the oldest runner to achieve such a feat. 

Personal Life 

The athlete is married with five kids. Two are her biological children and the other three are adopted.

Two of the adopted children are her sister’s who died of breast cancer in 2003. The other one was adopted from a neighbor who died during childbirth in 2013. 

Apart from being a mentor to girls and at the forefront of women empowerment, she also started the Edna Kiplagat foundation to create awareness about breast cancer.