Benson Masya

Benson Masya (May 14, 1970 – September 24, 2003) was a Kenyan long-distance runner and marathon specialist, who competed in the late 1980s and 1990s. He participated at the inaugural IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in 1992 and finished in first place.

Masya was a Kamba by ethnicity.[1]

Initially he was a boxer attached to Kenyan postal service before concentrating on running.[2] He won the Great North Run a record four times; in 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1996. He also won the City-Pier-City Loop half marathon in the Hague twice in 1993 and 1994.[3]

His career as a top runner came to a premature end. The Portsmouth 10 Mile race in 1996 was among his last notable achievements. His reveller lifestyle may have contributed to deteriorating performances.[4] Masya died in September 2003, aged 33, after a period of illness. At his death, he was accompanied by his friend Cosmas Ndeti. Masya was buried in Kitui.[5]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing   Kenya
1991 Honolulu Marathon Honolulu, Hawaii 1st Marathon 2:18:24
1992 World Half Marathon Championships Newcastle, United Kingdom 1st Half marathon 1:00:24
Honolulu Marathon Honolulu, Hawaii 1st Marathon 2:14:19
1993 City-Pier-City Loop The Hague, Netherlands 1st Half Marathon 1:00:24
1994 City-Pier-City Loop The Hague, Netherlands 1st Half Marathon 1:02:00
Honolulu Marathon Honolulu, Hawaii 1st Marathon 2:15:04
1997 Stockholm Marathon Stockholm, Sweden 1st Marathon 2:17:22


  1. ^ IAAF, December 12, 2008: Inseparable! Jimmy Muindi and the Honolulu Marathon
  2. ^ icNewcastle: October 9, 2003: Void left as GNR legend Masya dies at just 33
  3. ^ "City-Pier-City". Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  4. ^ Honolulu Star, December 4, 2006: Lifestyle and illness felled Honolulu Marathon winner
  5. ^ Honolulu advertiser, September 30, 2003: 3-time marathon champion dead at 33
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Lawrence Peu
Moses Tanui
Men's Half Marathon Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Moses Tanui
Simon Lopuyet