The current marathon world record holder has died after a car crash in Kenya. Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, were killed after the car they were in veered off the road.
Multiple media reports broke the news after the crash late last night.
Kiptum set the current record at the Chicago Marathon when he ran the 26.2 mile race in 2:00:35. The run was in October 2023.
“We are shocked and saddened by the news of the recent death of Kelvin Kiptum,” wrote Carey Pinkowski, the Executive Race Director of the Chicago Marathon. “Kelvin was a once in a generation athlete at the front of his career and there is no doubt in my mind that his greatest achievements were ahead of him. We were lucky to witness his greatness on the streets of Chicago. While he will be celebrated for his record-breaking performances, I will remember him as an incredible talent and as an even more magnificent person. The sport of marathon running has suffered a tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Kiptum was just 24-years-old. After spending most of his life focusing on shorter races, the athlete had only recently changed his racing strategy to marathons. Since then, he has set three of the five fastest marathon times on record.
Kelvin Kitpum’s Impact on Running
Kiptum was set to make his Olympics debut this summer in Paris. Officials with the Olympics released a statement saying, “We had been looking forward to welcoming him into the Olympic community at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and seeing what the fastest marathon runner in the world could achieve.”
To set the marathon record so close to the two-hour mark, Kiptum ran around 4:34 minutes a mile. Many believed he would be the first person to run a marathon under the highly coveted two-hour mark.
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