Abel Kirui is an enthusiastic and cheerful long-distance runner from Kenya. He is a popular marathon athlete because of his achievements and his nice personality. Kirui started running while he was in Samitui Primary School. After high school, Kirui entered a recruitment race by Administration Police (AP), the winner of such race would be recruited by AP. Kirui won the race and subsequently joined AP, starting serious training only after then. He entered the 2006 Berlin Marathon as a pacemaker, but finished the race 9th. in 2007 he returned to the Berlin Marathon and he finished second behind Haile Gebrselassie who set a new marathon world record.
He finished third in the 2009 Rotterdam Marathon and ran a new personal best of 2:05:04. In the same year he won gold over his teammate Emmanuel Mutai who took silver at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. Two years later, he showed that he always performs well at championships by winning the gold medal again.
At the 2012 Olympic Games Abel Kirui finished second behind the Ugandan athlete Stephen Kiprotich. The third place was for Wilson Kipsang.
After a few difficult races, Abel made a great comeback in the 2016 Chicago marathon. He made the decisive move in the last 800m and defeated defending champion Chumba.