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  • Jacob Koehler

Top Marathon Runner Dies at 24


The world of marathon running was left in shock and mourning following the tragic passing of Kelvin Kiptum on February 11th at the young age of 24. Kiptum was not just any runner; he was widely regarded as the top marathon runner in the world. His exceptional talent and dedication had propelled him to the forefront of the sport, where he had set a world record at the Chicago Marathon with a remarkable time of 2 hours and 35 seconds. Kiptum's dominance was further underscored by his official ranking as the number one men's marathon runner and his ownership of three of the seven top marathon times in history.


Born and raised in Kenya, a country renowned for its excellence in long-distance running, Kiptum's journey to greatness was marked by perseverance and determination. Despite growing up in poverty, he discovered his passion for running at an early age and pursued it with unwavering commitment. At 18, he faced the daunting challenge of his first competitive race without even owning a pair of running shoes. However, his talent and sheer willpower propelled him forward, setting him on a path to greatness.


Kiptum's rise to prominence was not without its challenges, but he faced them head-on, driven by a desire to excel and make a name for himself in the world of marathon running. His dedication and hard work paid off, and he soon found himself surpassing even the most seasoned veterans in the sport. Among his many achievements, perhaps the most notable was his surpassing fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge as the greatest long-distance runner before his untimely passing.


The tragic accident that claimed Kiptum's life also took the life of his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, who was a passenger in the vehicle driven by Kiptum. Reports indicate that the vehicle lost control and rolled, resulting in the deaths of both Kiptum and Hakizimana. Another passenger in the vehicle was injured but survived.


In the aftermath of Kiptum's death, there has been much speculation about the cause of the accident. Police have arrested four men who visited Kiptum's house prior to the accident, following a report from Kiptum's father about their suspicious visit. However, no further details about their involvement have been released, leaving many questions unanswered. Some have also raised concerns about the poor road infrastructure and traffic laws in Kenya, suggesting that they may have played a role in the accident. Additionally, there has been criticism of Nike for not providing the level of financial support to Kiptum as they do for their sponsored athletes in other sports.


Kiptum's death has left a void in the world of marathon running that will be difficult to fill. His absence will be keenly felt at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, where he would have been favored for the gold medal. His major accomplishments in such a short career have left many wondering what more he could have achieved, and his legacy will undoubtedly live on in the hearts and minds of all who knew him and were inspired by his remarkable talent and dedication

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