World Marathon Record holder Kiptum Perishes in Auto Accident

World record holder for marathons from Kenya, Kelvin Kiptum, 24, passed away in a traffic accident.


In addition to the Kenyan distance runner, Kiptum’s coach Gervais Hakizimana perished in the collision on Sunday along Eldoret-Kaptagat Road.

Among the more promising newcomers to the road running scene in recent years was Kiptum. When he won the Valencia marathon in December 2022 in a time of 2:01:53, he made headlines. In just his third marathon, less than a year later, he broke the world record in Chicago, finishing in 2:00:35. He won the London Marathon earlier in the year in a time that set a track record of 2:01:25, and those two accomplishments earned him the title of 2023 World Athlete of the Year for men’s out-of-stadium events.

Kiptum was employed on his family’s cattle farm when he was younger. He was born and reared in Chepsamo hamlet in Chepkorio, 30 kilometers from Eldoret in the Rift Valley. Around the age of 13, he began jogging and would follow neighborhood marathoners around the streets and trails.

He soon entered the Eldoret Half Marathon, his first half marathon, and finished in tenth position overall. In 2018, he won the race at the age of eighteen, just five years later.

While still a youngster, he competed internationally in 2019 and finished fifth in the Lisbon Half Marathon with a time of 59:54. Kiptum lowered his half marathon personal best to 58:42 at the 2020 Valencia Half Marathon before increasing to the classic distance. Kiptum broke the 60-minute mark for the half marathon six times between 2019 and 2021.But his true strength was in longer distances, and the 2022 Valencia Marathon quickly demonstrated this. After reaching the halfway point in 1:01:42, he continued to run with the vast lead pack, but around the 30-kilometer mark, he began to pick up the pace.

After a few kilometers, Kiptum was leading by himself. He ran a course record 2:01:53, the fastest debut marathon in history, and third place on the global all-time list behind distance legends Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele after covering the second half in an astounding 1:00:11.

A swift second half quickly turned into Kiptum’s signature style of marathon running. He once again made a strong breakthrough at 30 kilometers in the 2023 London Marathon, finishing the second half in 59:45 to win in a course record of 2:01:25.

Six months later, he used a same strategy at the Chicago Marathon, when he ran splits of 1:00:48 and 59:47 to set a world record of 2:00:35, shaving 34 seconds off Kipchoge’s 2022 mark.

He hadn’t participated in a race since the Chicago Marathon the previous year, but he was scheduled to run the Rotterdam Marathon in April of this year with the goal of breaking the record for the most men to run under two hours on a course that qualified for a record.World Athletics President Sebastian Coe expressed his shock and heartfelt sadness at the news of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, having died tragically.

“We extend our sincere condolences to their families, friends, teammates, and the people of Kenya on behalf of all of World Athletics.

“I was only able to formally confirm Kelvin’s remarkable time earlier this week in Chicago, when he established his incredible world record for the marathon.


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