In a tragic accident on February 11, 2023, Kelvin Kiptum, a record-breaking marathon runner from Kenya, lost his life at the age of 24. His coach Gervais Hakizimana also tragically passed away in the same incident. Just days before the accident, World Athletics had ratified Kiptum’s world record time of 2:00:35 in the Chicago Marathon, which he set at the young age of 23, beating the previous record held by Eliud Kipchoge.
Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics, expressed his deep condolences to Kiptum and Hakizimana’s families and friends following their tragic loss. He highlighted the profound impact that their loss had on the entire athletic community and emphasized that they would never be forgotten for their remarkable contributions to the sport.
Kiptum was known for his intense training regime and dedication to marathon running. He had won his first marathon in Valencia, Spain in 2021 and later triumphed at the London Marathon in 2021. His ultimate goal was to break the two-hour barrier at the Rotterdam Marathon in April 2024.
Hakizimana spoke about Kiptum’s training regimen, revealing that he sometimes trained up to 300 kilometers per week. Despite this grueling schedule, Kiptum always remained committed to his goals and was determined to achieve greatness in marathon running.
Sarah Lorge Butler is a writer and editor based in Eugene, Oregon who has been covering running trends and unique individuals for Runner’s World since 2005. She is also the author of two successful fitness books – “Run Your Butt Off!” and “walk off your ass!”.