Pushing The Pace With Mary Keitany

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 6, 2012
  • Updated Jun. 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM UTC
Mary Keitany doesn't like to look back. Photo:

She’s been a front runner her whole career.

At last year’s ING New York City Marathon, Kenya’s Mary Keitany took off from the gun. Her front-running tactics, however, eventually came back to bite her in the end as she faded to third.

Most runners would be expected to admit that this kind of do-or-die strategy doesn’t work, but not Keitany. According to a profile in the June issue of Running Times, Keitany says that she would employ the same banzai-esque tactics if she ran New York again.

Her front-running strategy has worked on several occasions. This past February, she ran the RAK Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates. She headed out at world-reord pace for the first six miles, but slowed for the remainder.

Regardless, she won that race in 66:42.

But the question remains: how fast can Keitany run if she didn’t bolt at the start? Her coach, Gabriele Nicola, is aware of this dilemma.

“Mary began running at a high level as a half marathoner who loved taking the race out at a hard clip to leave the others behind as soon as possible,” he says.

For More: Running Times

FILED UNDER: New York City Marathon / News TAGS:

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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