24-Year-Old Marathon World Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum Passes Away

In a tragic turn of events, Kelvin Kiptum, the record-breaking marathon runner, and his coach Gervais Hakizimana passed away in a car accident on February 11 in Kenya at the age of 24. 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.

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. World Athletics ratified Kiptum’s record on February 6.

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.

Hakizimana had spoken about Kiptum’s intense training regime, revealing that he sometimes trained up to 300 kilometers per week. The accident that took the lives of both Kiptum and Hakizimana occurred when Kiptum lost control of the Toyota Premio he was driving. Both men passed away on the scene while a third passenger was taken to the hospital.

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

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