Born September 6 1979 in Kenya, Edna Ngeringwony Kiplagat is a long distant runner that has distinguished herself and maintained a position as the all-time record breaker. She is the 2011 and 2013 IAAF Marathon World Champion.
Edna has kept a clean record of great wins and keeps breaking boundaries; each time with a captivating smile on her face. For Edna, the journey to fame and excellence started at the young age of 16 when she set her personal best time of 8:53:06 minutes in the 3000 metres World Championship in 1996. Thereafter, through the wins and the losses, Edna has become an athlete to be reckoned with.
In 2006, she recorded personal bests in the 5000 metres, with 15:57.3 minutes in July in Nairobi, and the half marathon with 1:09:32 hours in October in San Jose. In the same year, Edna won the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. In June 2007 she ran the 10,000 metres in 33:27.0 minutes in Nairobi. She also won the Lilac Bloomsday Run and the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, USA.
Edna won the Los Angeles Marathon in 2010, which was her second marathon ever, and then went on to win the 2010 New York City Marathon. She defeated two marathon debutantes, Shalane Flanagan of the United States and Mary Keitany of Kenya, who took second and third positions respectively. She ran a career best of 1:09:00 at the New York City Half Marathon, finishing as runner-up behind Caroline Rotich.
In 2011, at the London Marathon the first class runner was challenged by her local rival; Mary Keitany who eventually finished second, leaving Edna in the third place. Still, Edna was pleased with her third place performance as her time of 2:20:46 marked a significant personal best, improving upon her previous time by almost five minutes.
Edna has clearly won the hearts of many, who now look out for her on the track. She sees every victory as a way of renewing her pledge never to disappoint her fans, and at the 2011 World Championships Marathon she did it again, when she broke the record and took the women’s title in a time of 2:28:43 hours; a win that looked like a push of luck after she fell over in the last 5km and was helped to her feet by her team mate and eventual third placer Sharon Cherop. Edna, Cherop and Priscah Jeptoo made it a medal sweep for Kenya – the first time that any nation had taken all three medals at a global marathon championship. She entered the Montferland Run with a slight injury, which she did not allow to get in her way to victory and she eventually finished as runner-up to Abebech Afework.
In 2011, Edna won a gold medal at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Korea, and 2012 began as a year of endless possibilities for the shining star. First, she finished third place at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships, which was for her a launch pad to the big one; the 2012 London Marathon, where she was the last runner to challenge eventual winner Mary Keitany and ended the race as runner-up in a personal best of 2:19:50 hours. Edna was later selected for the Kenyan Olympic team as a result.
She was the admirable winner of the New York Mini 10km in June 2012, but then lost at the 2012 London Olympics and later finished twentieth place in the Olympic Marathon with a time of 2:27:52 hours; a surprising incident for both the track star and her numerous fans. Yet she remained unfazed. Six weeks later she ran at the Great North Run and had a better performance, setting a personal best of 1:07:41 hours while finishing as a runner-up to Tirunesh Dibaba. The determined record breaker has had her fair share of challenges and obstacles but she still stands strong, refusing to be moved by the winds of worry and discouragement.
For Edna, nothing is so great that it cannot be accomplished with perseverance; for with ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance all things are attainable.
© 2013 – 2017, Lovelyn Okafor. All rights reserved.