09/09/2014 01:07 EDT | Updated 11/09/2014 05:59 EST

Canadian distance runner Simon Bairu announces his retirement due to injuries

OTTAWA - Injuries have forced Canadian distance runner Simon Bairu to retire.

The 31-year-old from Regina is the Canadian record-holder in the 10,000 metres and has won three national 10-K titles on the road.

Bairu was a cross-country standout at the University of Wisconsin, then went on to win seven national cross-country titles. He also finished 12th at the 2010 world cross-country championships — one of the best results ever by a Canadian.

"After dealing with constant injuries I decided it was time to move on," Bairu said in a statement.

Bairu, who grew up in Saskatchewan after arriving as a Saudi Arabian refugee with his family as a young boy, was pegged as a future Canadian marathon star. But injuries continued to derail his attempts at the 42.195-kilometre distance.

Bairu has accepted a sports marketing job with Nike.