In a tragic turn of events, Kenya’s world-record holder in the marathon, Kelvin Kiptum, passed away in a car crash at the young age of 24. The accident occurred in the high-altitude region of Kenya, between Eldoret and Kaptagat. This area is renowned as a training base for long-distance runners, making Kiptum’s death all the more devastating for the running community.
Kiptum’s untimely death came just months after he set a world record time of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October. This remarkable achievement made him the first man to run the marathon in under 2 hours, 1 minute, surpassing the previous mark set by fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. His record was officially ratified by the international track federation World Athletics just last week, adding another layer of tragedy to his sudden passing.
After hearing about Kiptum’s death, a group of athletes including Kenyan runner Milcah Chemos went to Eldoret hospital to confirm the news. Once there, they were joined by Kiptum’s family to identify his body. Chemos learned that not only had Kiptum died but also his coach was killed in the crash. This added another layer of tragedy to an already devastating situation for the running community.
The loss of such a talented athlete at such a young age is deeply felt throughout Kenya and beyond. Many are mourning his passing and paying tribute to his achievements on and off the track. The running community has lost one of its brightest stars and this loss will be felt for years to come.