In a tragic turn of events, marathon runner Kelvin Kiptum passed away in a car accident on February 11 in Kenya at the age of 24. His coach, Gervais Hakizimana, also lost his life in the same accident. Kiptum achieved a remarkable world record in the marathon in October in Chicago, running it in 2:00:35. He was only 23 when he set this record, beating the previous one held by Eliud Kipchoge.
World Athletics ratified Kiptum’s record on February 6. Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, expressed his condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation after their tragic loss and highlighted the shocking and deeply saddened impact it has had.
Sarah Lorge Butler is a writer and editor based in Eugene, Oregon whose work on running, its trends, and unique individuals has been featured in Runner’s World since 2005. She is also the author of two well-received fitness books, Run Your Butt Off! and Walk Your Butt Off!
Kiptum had a remarkable career in marathon running leading up to his world record achievement. He won his first marathon in Valencia, Spain in 2022 and later triumphed in the 2022 London Marathon. He had plans to attempt to break the 2-hour barrier at the Rotterdam Marathon in April 2024.