On February 11, 2023, the world of marathon running was shaken by the tragic passing of record-breaking runner Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana in a car accident in Kenya. Kiptum, who was only 24 years old, achieved a remarkable world record in the marathon in October 2022 in Chicago, running it in just 2:00:35.
Kiptum’s impressive career in marathon running had been marked by numerous successes leading up to his world record achievement. He had won his first marathon in Valencia, Spain in 2021 and later triumphed at the London Marathon that same year. Kiptum had plans to attempt to break the 2-hour barrier at the Rotterdam Marathon in April 2024.
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! World Athletics ratified Kiptum’s record on February 6th. Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics expressed condolences to their families and friends after their tragic loss and highlighted the shocking impact it has had on the Kenyan nation and athletics community as a whole.