30th March, 2012
Khalid Khannouchi, a former holder of the World record in the Marathon who became an American citizen in 2000, has officially retired.
The Moroccan-born 40-year-old had been plagued by foot injuries for the past eight years.
Khannouchi was the superstar of the Marathon world in the late 1990s and early 2000s, winning the Chicago Marathon three times between 1997 and 2002. His 2:07:10 victory in 1997 was at that time the fastest debut Marathon in history.
Although he has attempted several comebacks, Khannouchi has not been able to race frequently over the past few years. His last marathon was in New York City at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 2007, and one of his last races at any distance was the New York Road Runner’s UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in 2010.
“I’m proud of myself. I truly want to thank my family, all the people, the fans, my sponsors who really gave me the opportunity. I want to thank them for the time, the great time I had, the support I had, and the great moments in the history of running that I had as they were a part of it,” he said.
Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of NYRR described Khannouchi as the dominant marathoner of his generation and ahead of his time. “He led the way and showed, with determination, grit, and grace, what it means to specialise at the marathon,” she said.
In 1999, while still a citizen of his native Morocco, Khannouchi set his first Marathon World record when he ran 2:05:42 to win in Chicago.