Runners from Kenya have run seven of the 10 fastest times ever for 26.2 miles. They have also been among the most consistent winners in the World Marathon Majors  London,  Chicago,Berlin,Boston,New York,Tokyo and London .

Boston Marathon

1988 Boston Marathon Ibrahim Hussein won the first of his three marathon victories, less than a year after winning the New York City Marathon . In 1991 and 1992 he won back to back victories still at Boston. Kenyan men athletes have won the Boston Marathon 20 times since 1988, including 10 times in a row from 1991 to 2000. Kenyan women also did a splendid performance by winning 10 victories at Boston. The notable winners:

  • Cosmas Ndeti, who won three in a row from 1993–95, running a course record 2:07:15 in 1994,
  • Moses Tanui, a two time winner in 1996 and 1998,
  • Robert Kipkoecch Cheruiyot whose four victories (2003, 2006–2008) make him and Bill Rodgers the  race’s only four-time winners in the men’s division,
  • Catherine Ndereba,the only four-time winner in the women’s open division,
  • Geoffrey Mutai,whose 2:03:02 winning time in 2011 is the fastest marathon time ever.
  • Rita Jeptoo, who won in 2013 before the attack.




New York City Marathon

This race that begins in Staten Island and goes through Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, ending in Manhattan’s Central Park, which is 26.219 miles is one of the toughest marathon. Hussein’s win in the New York City Marathon in the fall of 1987 was the first by a runner of African descent in the event,three years later, Douglas Wakuhiriri won the race. Among the winners:

  • John Kagwe, winner of back-to-back titles (1997–98);
  • Tegla Loroupe, who won in 1994 and repeated as champion the following year;
  • Martin Lel whose victories in New York came four years apart (2003, 2007);
  • Geoffrey Mutai, the fastest marathoner ever, who set a course record (2:05:06) in winning the 2011 race;
  • Margaret Okayo whose victories in 2001 and 2003 were course records.
  • Susan Chepkemei won silver in 2004 with a record of 2:27:10 the closest finish upto that time.
  • Paul Tergat  won gold medal in 2005.
  • In 2006 Kenya Stephen Kiogora and Paul Tergat won silver and bronze respectively.
  • Edna Kiplagat won the women title in 2010 with a time of 2:28:20.
  • Stanley Biwott won the male in year 2015.
  • Mary Keitany won back to back female titles in year 2015 and 2016.

London Marathon

Douglas Wakiihuri won the race in 1989; it would be 15 years before another Kenyan, Evans Rutto, would win in London. Martin Lel has three victories in the event and set a course record of 2:05:15 in 2008. Mary Keitany would win back to back titles in 2011-12.

Eliud Kipchoge set the second man fastest marathon in history  of 2:02:37 in 2019.

Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon was first held in 1977. Runners from Kenya have won the men’s open division 12 times, including nine in a row from 2003 to 2011.

Joseph Nzau was the first African- Kenyan man to win this title in 1983 with a time of 2:09:44 which was the fastest record at that time. Kenya has won 15 times in male titles and 8 times in females title.

Ondoro Osoro won in 1998

Ben Kimundio won in 2001

Felix Limo won in 2005

Robert Cheruiyot won in 2006

Patrick Ivuti won in 2007

Evans Cheruiyot won in 2008

Samuel Wanjiru won both 2009 and 2010

Moses Mosop won in 2011

Dennis Kimetto won in 2013

Eliud Kipchoge won in 2014

Dickson Chumba won in 2015

Abel Kirui won in 2016

Rita Jeptoo won in 2013

Florence Kiplagat won in both 2015 and 2016

Brigid Kosgei won in 2018

  • Evans Rutto(2003–04) and the late Samuel Wanjiru(2009–10) repeated as champions during that period.
  • Joyce Chepchumba(1998–99) won consecutive titles in the women’s open division; Catherine Ndereba won in 2000 and repeated in 2001 with a world women’s record (2:47).

Berlin Marathon

Kenyan men have won the past six Berlin Marathon races (as of 2018). Patrick Makau Musyoki won the latter in a world-record time of 2:03:38 in 2011.

Tegla Loroupe was the first Kenyan to win this title in 1999.

Paul Tergat in 2003.

Wilson Kipsang in 2013.

Dennis Kimetto in 2014.

Eliud Kipchoge in 2018.

Tokyo Marathon

The newest of the World Marathon Majors, the first Tokyo Marathonwas held in 2007. Daniel Njenga won the inaugural race in 2:09:45. Kenyan runners have won the race eight times, including the 2017champion Dickson Chumba and Sarah Chepchirchir, who set a course record 2:03:58 and 2:19:47 in male and female race respectively.

Among the winners are:

Salim Kipsang in 2009.

Michael Kipyego in 2012.

Dennis Kimetto in 2013.

Dickson Chumba in 2014 and 2018


Olympic Games

Kenya is ranked number 4 overall as their rival Ethiopia are ranked 1 overall. Samuel Wanjiru became the first Kenyan to become an Olympic champion in the marathon when he ran an Olympic Games record 2:06:32 to win the gold medal in Beijing in 2008.

  • Douglas Wakiihuri would win the country’s first marathon medal, silver at the 1988 games in Seoul.Erick Wainana won two medals, a bronze at the 1996 games in Atlanta and silver at the 2000 games in Sydney.
  • Catherine Ndereba would win consecutive silver medals in the women’s marathon, in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008).