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Marathon community remembers Kelvin Kiptum, killed in car crash: ‘Had a whole life ahead of him’

Kelvin Kiptum was killed in a car crash in Kenya.Michael Reaves/Getty

The running world was stunned to learn of the death of men’s marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum at age 24 on Sunday.

Kiptum was a rising star in distance running, with his record performance at the Chicago Marathon in October setting the stage for a future that included being the favorite at the Olympics in Paris this summer. Kiptum broke the world record set by Eliud Kipchoge and was the first runner to finish an official marathon in less than 2 hours and 1 minute with his 2:00:35 result in Chicago.

He was scheduled to participate in the Rotterdam Marathon in the Netherlands in April.


Kipchoge, a fellow Kenyan and two-time Olympic gold medalist in the men’s marathon, posted a heartfelt message on X.

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of the Marathon World record holder and rising star Kelvin Kiptum,” Kipchoge wrote. “An athlete who had a whole life ahead of him to achieve incredible greatness. I offer my deepest condolences to his young family. May God comfort you during this trying time.”

Other prominent figures and organizations within the running world shared their expressions and emotions on social media in the wake of Kiptum’s death. Here is a sampling:

Matt Pepin can be reached at matt.pepin@globe.com.