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Kelvin Kiptum, men's marathon world record holder, dies in a car crash

Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya celebrates after winning the 2023 Chicago Marathon professional men's division and setting a world record marathon time of 2:00:35 at Grant Park on Oct. 8, 2023, in Chicago.
Michael Reaves
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Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya celebrates after winning the 2023 Chicago Marathon professional men's division and setting a world record marathon time of 2:00:35 at Grant Park on Oct. 8, 2023, in Chicago.

The man who set the record for the fastest marathon ever, Kelvin Kiptum, died in a car crash in his native Kenya on Sunday, the sports governing body World Athletics said. He was 24.

Kiptum shocked the running world last year when he blazed through the Chicago Marathon in 2 hours and 35 seconds. World Athletics had just ratified his historic time this past week.

It was also the first time an athlete had broken 2 hours and 1 minute in a record-eligible marathon.

Kiptum died in the crash alongside his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

"An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly," Coe added.

Kiptum's record-setting showing in Chicago bested the previous record held by his fellow Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge, who finished the 2022 Berlin Marathon in 2:01:09.

"I knew I was coming for a course record, but a world record — I am so happy," Kiptum said after the race last year. "A world record was not on my mind today, but I knew one day I would be a world record-holder."

The superstar racer was slated to run in the Rotterdam Marathon in April, indicating he would even try to break the two-hour barrier during the race.

Kiptum leaves behind his wife, Asenath Rotich, and their two children, according to Olympics.com.

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