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10 Best Africa Female Marathon Runners of All Time

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Africa has produced some of the best female marathon runners in the world. Some of them have broken records and demonstrated unmatched consistency. Marathon running requires the athletes to have a lot of stamina and the best have mastered this. In this article, we’ll look at seven of the best African female marathon runners of all time. 

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1. Brigid Kosgei 

Brigid Kosgei is the best African female marathon runner of all time. In 2019, she broke Paula Radcliffe’s record in the London Marathon. She clocked 2:14:4 wearing Nike’s controversial Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%. In the same year, she ran 2:16:02 at the Tokyo Marathon, the fourth fastest time in history. She’s won five marathon majors, Chicago 2018, London and Chicago 2019, London 2020, and Tokyo 2021.

2. Catherine Ndereba

Catherine Ndereba’s name is still synonymous with her prowess in marathon running. She was admired for her consistency to produce results at the top level. She won the Olympic medal twice, at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. In 2001, she won the Chicago Marathon in a world record time of 2:18:47. Ndereba conquered the Boston Marathon having won it four times. 

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3. Tegla Loroupe

Tegla Loroupe is one of the best African female marathon runners of all time. She achieved greatness with very little and at a time when there wasn’t a lot of technological advancement. In 1998, she became the first African woman to get a marathon world record. In 1994, she ran her first New York marathon and was the first African woman to win it. 

4. Mary Keitany

At one time, Mary Keitany was thought to be Paula Radcliffe’s heir. After her success in the half marathon, she switched to full-length marathon running. To date, she’s won seven major marathon titles. 

Keitany has written records. In 2017, she claimed the world record in London after running 2:17:01. She was the queen of half marathon running as she won three – Udine 2007, Birmingham 2009 as an individual and team. 

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5. Peres Jepchirchir

Peres Jepchirchir is a two-time major marathon winner. She won the New York and Boston marathons in 2021 and 2022. In 2023, she clinched the bronze medal in London on her debut in the course at a time of 2.18.38. Peris’s personal best is 2.17.18 which she set in 2018. She’s won three half marathon majors.

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6. Ruth Chepngetich

Ruth has an impressive marathon track record. Since 2017, she’s won at least 16 marathons. This is a combination of half marathons and full-length marathons. She won her first world major in 2021 when she clinched the Chicago Marathon and retained it in 2022. She also set her personal best which is 2.14.18. 

7. Almaz Ayana

The Ethiopian runner has successfully conquered track and field. She switched to the road races in 2022 and is already making waves. She made her debut in the Amsterdam marathon and ran the fastest debut time at 2.17.20. This smashing victory saw her rank seventh in the fastest times run. 

8. Fatuma Roba

The Ethiopian is the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal. She achieved this feat in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.  In 1997, 1998 and 1999, Fatuma Roba won the Boston Marathon and went down in history as the first woman to do so. The other marathon races she won were the Rome City Marathon and the Nagano Marathon. Her personal best was 2:23:21. 

9. Tiki Gelana

Tiki Gelana’s most iconic moment of her career came in 2012 when she won the London 2012 in an Olympic record time. She clocked 2:37.07 to win gold and write her name in marathon history. Her marathon personal best stands at 2.18.58, which was Ethiopia’s national record for the marathon.

10. Tirunesh Dibaba

After a successful career in track and field, Tirunesh Dibaba switched to road races. In 2014, she ran her first at the London Marathon and finished third at a time of 2:20:35. Also, in 2017, she won a gold medal in the Chicago Marathon. In the same year, she won silver in the London Marathon and Berlin in 2018. Nike shoes have been her trademark in her races. You can get various Nike shoes on Amazon.

Those are the best African female marathon runners. It’s admirable that they can produce such results in very difficult circumstances. They not only made their nations proud but also the continent.

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