John Kelai

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En route to victory at the 2005 Enschede Marathon

John Ekiru Kelai (born 29 December 1976) is a male long-distance runner from Kenya, who specialises in the marathon. He set his personal best of 2:09:09 hours for the distance at the 2005 edition of the Eindhoven Marathon, where he finished fourth. He is a two-time winner of the Enschede Marathon, also in the Netherlands, and had consecutive wins at the Mumbai Marathon in 2007–2008.


Kelai won the 2003 Singapore Marathon, the 2004 Brussels Marathon, and was the 2007 winner of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. In 2009 he was third at the Mumbai Marathon, failing to defend his title, and took fourth at both the Singapore and Karstadt Marathons.[1]

He was selected for the marathon at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and he moved away from the field in the final 10 km to become Commonwealth champion (only the second Kenyan man to take the title after Douglas Wakiihuri). "I am so humbled to win here. It is an honour. I didn't know I could be the winner", said Kelai, "I feel on top of the world".[2] He stayed on in Asia for 2011, coming sixth at the Mumbai Marathon and third in Singapore.[3][4]

He was invited to the 2012 Brighton Marathon and was third in a Kenyan podium sweep.[5]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Kenya
2003 Singapore Marathon Singapore 1st Marathon 2:19:02
2004 Brussels Marathon Brussels, Belgium 1st Marathon 2:10:59
Singapore Marathon Singapore 4th Marathon 2:17:49
2005 Enschede Marathon Enschede, Netherlands 1st Marathon 2:11:44
Eindhoven Marathon Eindhoven, Netherlands 4th Marathon 2:09:09
Singapore Marathon Singapore 5th Marathon 2:16:58
2006 Enschede Marathon Enschede, Netherlands 2nd Marathon 2:12:05
Eindhoven Marathon Eindhoven, Netherlands 14th Marathon 2:18:37
2007 Mumbai Marathon Mumbai, India 1st Marathon 2:12:30
National Capital Marathon Ottawa, Canada 4th Marathon 2:11:10
Toronto Waterfront Marathon Toronto, Canada 1st Marathon 2:09:30
2008 Mumbai Marathon Mumbai, India 1st Marathon 2:12:22
Toronto Waterfront Marathon Toronto, Canada 5th Marathon 2:12:43
2009 Mumbai Marathon Mumbai, India 3rd Marathon 2:12:13
Ruhr Marathon Essen, Germany 4th Marathon 2:11:15
Singapore Marathon Singapore 4th Marathon 2:13:14
2010 Enschede Marathon Enschede, Netherlands 1st Marathon 2:12:17
Commonwealth Games Delhi, India 1st Marathon 2:14:35


  1. ^ Kelai, John. Marathon Info. Retrieved on 2010-10-16.
  2. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (2010-10-14). Double marathon triumph for Kenya ends athletics programme at Commonwealth Games. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-10-16.
  3. ^ Krishnan, Ram. Murali (2011-01-16). Assefa and Yal take down course records in Mumbai. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  4. ^ Kenyans sweep in Singapore. IAAF (2011-12-04). Retrieved on 2011-12-04.
  5. ^ Butcher, Michael (2012-04-15). Course records fall in Brighton. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-04-19.

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