Kenyan long-distance runner Kelvin Kiptum, the marathon world record holder, passed away in a car accident along with his coach on Sunday. The tragic event occurred on a road in the high-altitude region that is popular among long-distance runners for training. After hearing the news of the crash, a group of athletes, including fellow Kenyan Milcah Chemos, rushed to the hospital in Eldoret to confirm the deaths.
Kiptum was only 24 years old and had set a new world record of 2:00:35 at the Chicago Marathon last October. His achievement was officially ratified by international track federation World Athletics just last week. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe expressed deep sorrow and shock upon hearing of Kiptum and his coach’s tragic demise.
Chicago physical therapist and running coach Nick Gornick, who witnessed Kiptum’s record-breaking finish at the Chicago Marathon, believed that he had enormous potential to finish a marathon in under two hours. Gornick lamented Kiptum’s untimely death, noting that such an achievement usually implies that an athlete has much more to offer.