Defying the clock: How 44-year-old Edna Kiplagat outran expectations at Boston

Edna Kiplagat with her children, Wendy and Carlos. Image/POOL

Defying the clock: How 44-year-old Edna Kiplagat outran expectations at Boston

Festus Chuma 10:00 - 16.04.2024

At 44, Edna Kiplagat continues to excel in marathons, inspiring many with her longevity and family-supported achievements in running.

More than 30,000 runners were registered to run the 2024 Boston Marathon, but none shone quite like Edna Kiplagat. 

At 44 years old, the Kenyan long-distance runner continues to break barriers that many athletes consider insurmountable by their late thirties. 

This Monday, Kiplagat clinched third place with an impressive finish time of 2:23:21, defying conventional athletic wisdom that marathon runners peak much earlier in their careers.

The 2024 Boston Marathon marked another significant achievement in her illustrious career, adding to her reputation as a marathon maven who previously won the prestigious event twice. 

Her persistence and endurance are evident as she remains a top contender in the world’s most challenging races, such as the London and New York City Marathons, where she has also claimed victories.

This latest marathon was a family affair for Kiplagat. At the finish line, her children, Carlos, 19, and Wendy, 15, both budding athletes themselves, were there to embrace her. 

The moment highlighted not just a personal triumph but a familial joy, showcasing the supportive environment that surrounds Kiplagat. 

Her husband and former runner, Gilbert Koech, who also serves as her coach, has been a pivotal figure in her training and preparation, making this journey a collective family effort.

Kiplagat’s story is one of incredible consistency and longevity. She started her international running career as a junior athlete representing Kenya in 1996 and has not slowed down since.

Her training regimen is as rigorous as ever, with weekly runs ranging between 110km to 130km. This disciplined approach has helped her maintain peak physical condition and competitive spirit.

What makes Kiplagat's story even more inspiring is her role as a mentor and role model. 

"I have my kids and other upcoming athletes looking up to me. I want to keep running to be a role model to them, motivate them, and then use my experience later to help them in the future," she explained in a past interview with Olympics channel.

Her unwavering commitment extends beyond her own achievements as she plans to pass on her wealth of knowledge to the next generation of runners.

The marathon itself is a testament to human endurance and spirit, and Kiplagat embodies these qualities in full measure. Her resilience is not just about physical stamina but also mental fortitude.

 Each race is a psychological battle as much as it is a physical one, and her ability to keep pushing her limits is what sets her apart.

Interestingly, Kiplagat's longevity in the sport can also be attributed to her choice of equipment. 

Sponsored by PUMA, she wears the latest road running shoes like the Deviate NITRO Elite 2. These shoes are designed with a carbon fiber PWRPLATE that provides stability and maximizes running efficiency, coupled with the supreme cushioning of PUMA’s NITRO Elite foam, enabling her to perform at her best.

Kiplagat’s career is a beacon of inspiration. She is the first able-bodied athlete to record ten top-three finishes in the World Marathon Majors series.

Her achievements speak volumes about her dedication and passion for the sport, making her a legendary figure in marathon running.

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