Kenya’s cabinet secretary, Musalia Mudavadi, expressed deep sadness over the passing of Kelvin Kiptum. Kiptum was a talented long-distance runner who inspired many with his dedication to athletics. Mudavadi also highlighted Kiptum’s mentorship and leadership, which helped aspiring athletes reach their full potential. In a difficult time, Mudavadi extended his thoughts and prayers to Kiptum’s family, friends, and teammates.
Kelvin Kiptum made a significant impact in long-distance running last year by breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s world record at the Chicago Marathon and dominating the London Marathon with the third fastest time over 26.2 miles. He was considered a once-in-a-generation talent and was the favorite for Olympic gold in Paris, where Kipchoge was going for a hat-trick of marathon titles. Kiptum’s historic time of 2hr 0m 35sec was set in October while he was training for the Rotterdam Marathon in April and selected for the Kenyan team for the Olympic marathon in August.
Even though Eliud Kipchoge was the first human to run a marathon under two hours in a controlled time trial event with pacers, Kelvin looked increasingly likely to achieve that feat in ratified race conditions. In December, he was awarded “Off Track” athlete of the year by World Athletics. Kelvin began serious running barefoot while herding cattle for his family and admitted that he had never previously set foot on an athletics track.