On Sunday, Kenyan marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum died in a car crash along with his coach in Kenya. The crash happened on a road in the high-altitude region known as a training base for long-distance runners. After hearing the news of the crash, a group of athletes, including fellow Kenyan Milcah Chemos, went to the hospital in Eldoret to confirm the deaths.
Kiptum was 24 years old and had set the 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 and his coach’s tragic deaths.
Chicago physical therapist and running coach Nick Gornick, who witnessed Kiptum’s record-breaking finish at the Chicago Marathon, believed that Kiptum had the potential to finish a marathon in under two hours. He lamented Kiptum’s untimely death, noting that setting a world record at such a young age usually means that an athlete has much more to offer.