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Edith Chewanjel Masai (born 4 April 1967) is a Kenyan former long-distance runner who specialised in cross country and track races, then road races in her late career. She represented Kenya at the 2004 Summer Olympics.[1] Her best achievements are three individual gold medals in the short race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships between 2002 and 2004.

Edith Masai
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  Kenya
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2003 Paris 5000 m
World Cross Country Championships
Gold medal – first place 2002 Dublin Short race
Gold medal – first place 2003 Lausanne Short race
Gold medal – first place 2004 Brussels Short race
Bronze medal – third place 2001 Ostend Short race
African Championships
Gold medal – first place 2006 Bambous 10,000 m
All-Africa Games
Silver medal – second place 2007 Algiers 10,000 m

She is also known for reaching global top at the age of 35. On the track she was the bronze medallist over 5000 metres at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics and was the 2006 African Champion over 10,000 metres. She has also won silver medals over 10,000 m at the 2007 All-Africa Games and 5000 m at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Her track best of 8:23.23 minutes for the 3000 metres, set in 2002, remains the African record for the event. Over the marathon distance, she ran her career best of 2:27:06 hours to win the 2005 Hamburg Marathon.



Early lifeEdit

Masai was born in Chepkoya village, Mount Elgon District.She is the third born from a family of four. She competed during her high school days while at Kibuk Secondary School. She graduated in 1988. She joined Kenya Prisons Service in 1990, known for recruiting many talented athletes. Masai did not, however, achieve anything until 1999, when she became the national cross-country champion, at the age of 32. Consequently, she started training more seriously.[2] She won the Lotto Cross Cup Brussels in 2001 and went on to take bronze in the short race at the World Cross Country Championships that year. She improved upon this the following year, taking the gold at the 2002 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

International careerEdit

Masai holds the 3000 metres African record set in July 2002 in Monaco[3]

She won a bronze medal at the 2003 World Championships. In 2004, she failed at the Kenyan trials for the Olympics, but since she was one of only three Kenyans who had beaten the Olympic "A"-qualifying time in women's 5000 metres that year, she was offered a place on the team. Masai herself initially rejected the offer, but joined the team after lengthy negotiations. At the Olympics she dropped out suffering a hamstring injury.[4] She made her marathon debut at the age of 38, but gave a confident first performance, clocking 2:27:06 to win the 2005 Hamburg Marathon.[5]

She finished fifth at the 10,000 metres race at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Her time, 30:30.26 was a new Kenyan record.[6] The record was beaten by Linet Masai at the 2008 Olympics, who run 30:26.50.[7]

Masai has since been shifting from track running to marathon. She won Hamburg Marathon in 2005 and participated it also in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, she won Berlin Half Marathon, setting the fastest half marathon run that year, 1:07:16 minutes. It was also a personal best and a course record. She also set a new 5000 metres Kenyan record of 14:33.84 minutes.[8]

She won 10,000 metres silver medal at the 2007 All-Africa Games. Her time, 31:31.18 is a new World record for women over 40 years old. The previous record was held by Nicole Lévêque of France, who run 32:12.07 in Helsinki in 1994.[6] Masai participated the 2008 World championships marathon in Osaka, Japan, finishing 8th in a race won by her compatriot Catherine Ndereba.

Masai won the 2008 Virginia Beach Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.[9] She won Singapore Marathon in December 2008.[10] she broke up with her agent Dorothee Paulmann.[4] in 2007 and worked independently.

She currently lives in Ngong and Kitale ,she coaches Kenya Prisons Cross Country team Kenya. She is a divorced mother of one,her son Paul Griffin Sakit born in 1992 who ran for Louisiana Tech University.Masai retired from competitive running in early 2010,having a knee injury

Major competition recordEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2001 World XC Championships Ostend, Belgium 3rd Short race
2nd Team short race
World Championships Edmonton, Canada 7th 5000 m 15:17.67
Grand Prix Final Melbourne, Australia 7th 3000 m
2002 World XC Championships Dublin, Ireland 1st Short race
2nd Team short race
Commonwealth Games Manchester, England 2nd 5000 m
Grand Prix Final Paris, France 4th 3000 m
2003 World XC Championships Lausanne, Switzerland 1st Short race
1st Team short race
World Championships Paris, France 3rd 5000 m 14:52.30
World Athletics Final Monaco 1st 3000 m
2004 World XC Championships Brussels, Belgium 1st Short race
2nd Team short race
World Athletics Final Monaco 4th 5000 m
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 5th 10,000 m
World Athletics Final Monaco 6th 3000 m
2006 African Championships Bambous, Mauritius 1st 10,000 m
World Road Running Championships Debrecen, Hungary 5th
1st Team race
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 7th 5000 m
2007 All-Africa Games Algiers, Algeria 2nd 10,000 m
World Championships Osaka, Japan 8th Marathon

Personal BestEdit

Distance Time City Date
3000 metres 8:23.23 Monaco 19 July 2002
5000 metres 14:33.84 Oslo 2 June 2006
10,000 metres 30:30.26 Helsinki 6 August 2005
10 kilometres 31:13 La Courneuve 31 March 2002
15 kilometres 47:52 Berlin 2 April 2006
20 kilometres 1:03:52 Berlin 2 April 2006
Half marathon 1:07:16 Berlin 2 April 2006
30 kilometres 1:42:15 Hamburg 23 April 2006
Marathon 2:27:06 Hamburg 24 April 2005
5 kilometres 14:50 Neuss 8 June 2002
10 miles road 52:45 Zaandam 22 September 2002


  • Okoth, Omulo (18 March 2007). "A Kenyan XC legend - Edith Masai". IAAF. Retrieved 14 June 2008.
  1. ^ Edith Masai Archived 15 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2011-11-07.
  2. ^ Daily Nation, 16 June 2007: Ageless Masai makes grade for Osaka[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ IAAF: African record in Athletics
  4. ^ a b "IAAF: News |". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  5. ^ Masai wins debut and Rey is just short of course record – Hamburg Marathon. IAAF (2005-04-24). Retrieved on 2010-04-26.
  6. ^ a b, 22 July 2007: Splendid World Masters 10,000m Record for Masai Archived 2 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ IAAF, 15 August 2008: Dibaba smashes Olympic 10,000m record as two dip under 30 minutes!
  8. ^ IAAF, 28 December 2006: 2006 - End of Year Reviews – Road Running and Race Walks
  9. ^ IAAF website, 31 August 2008: Kwambai and Masai win Rock ‘n' Roll Half Marathon
  10. ^ Xinhua News Agency, 7 December 2008: Kenyan runners rule Singapore Marathon Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit