Kenyan long-distance runner Kelvin Kiptum, the world record-holder for the marathon, died in a car crash along with his coach on Sunday. The tragic accident occurred on a road in Kenya that is known as a popular training base for athletes. After hearing of the crash, a group of athletes, including fellow Kenyan Milcah Chemos, rushed to the hospital in Eldoret to confirm the deaths.
Kiptum, 24, was the first man to run a marathon in under 2 hours and 1 minute, setting 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’s tragic death.
Nick Gornick, a physical therapist and running coach from Chicago who witnessed Kiptum’s record-breaking finish at the Chicago Marathon, shared his grief over Kiptum’s untimely demise. Gornick believed that Kiptum had enormous potential to achieve even more and lamented that he would never be able to witness him do so.