On Sunday, the Kenyan marathon world record-holder, Kelvin Kiptum, died in a car crash along with his coach in Kenya. The crash took place on a road in a high-altitude region known as a training base for long-distance runners. After hearing about the tragedy, a group of athletes, including fellow Kenyan Milcah Chemos, went to the hospital in Eldoret to confirm the deaths.
Kiptum was only 24 years old and had set a new world record of 2:00:35 at the Chicago Marathon in October. The record was officially ratified by international track federation World Athletics last week. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe expressed deep sorrow and shock upon hearing of Kiptum’s tragic death. He said that setting such an impressive achievement at such a young age usually means that an athlete has much more to offer.
Nick Gornick, who witnessed Kiptum’s record-breaking finish at the Chicago Marathon and is also his physical therapist and running coach, believed that Kiptum had great potential to finish marathons under two hours. He mourned Kiptum’s untimely death and felt that it was a huge loss for both Kenya and the athletic community as a whole.