Kelai set dates for retirement

Former Commonwealth Games Marathon champion John Ekiru Kelai has set his retirement from active running in December this year.

Kelai, popularly referred to as pastor in the athletics cycles due to his prayerfulness, said that he has been competing in the last two decades and hanging his running spikes and concentrating on other matters of life.

“I have been running and competing on the roads for the last two decades and it will be my high time that I retire from active running and concentrate on other matters of life,” said Kelai.

Born and raised in Turkana County, Kelai was the second Kenyan to win the Commonwealth Marathon title in 2010 held in New Delhi, India. Douglas Wakiihuri was the first Kenyan to win the Queens race in 1990 at the Auckland in New Zealand.

The road running expert has won a number of marathons including the Eindhoven, where he ran 2:09.09 in 2005 after starting his winning ways at the Singapore marathon in 2003 where he completed in 2:19.12.

“With such accolades in marathon and other road races, I am ripe enough to call it quits since I have achieved much in my career as a marathoner,” said the two time Mumbai Marathon champion in 2007 and retained the title in 2008.

He also won doubles at the Enschede marathon in 2005 and 2006, before adding the Toronto Waterfront marathon in 2007 as well as the Brussels marathon among others.

“Life has been great throughout my running and this will go down in history not just as a runner but winning gold for Kenya at the Commonwealth Games and we are the only two of us in this country at the moment,” he said.

As part of his retirement, he said he will be engaging much in nurturing young and talented athletes from his Turkana County and the rest of Kenya because of many wasted athletes.

“many young people are not privileged to run like I did and others but once we give them direction and support, we shall have the best marathoners in the country,” he added.

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