Kelvin Kiptum was a Kenyan long-distance runner who held the marathon world record until his passing. He achieved a unique feat of completing the marathon in under two hours and one minute, making him the sole individual to accomplish this in a record-eligible race.
Additionally, he logged three of the seven fastest marathons in recorded history, solidifying his legacy as an exceptional athlete.
Unfortunately, he died in a car crash on 11 February 2024, along with his coach Gervais Hakizimana. The passing of Kelvin Kiptum sparked a wave of heartfelt tributes from athletes, politicians, and World Athletics on an international scale, showcasing the profound impact of his legacy beyond the realm of sports.
In this post we’re going to explore, Kelvin Kiptum Biography, early life, career, achievements, wife, death cause and more. Stay tuned as we dive in.
Kelvin Kiptum Age
Kelvin Kiptum was 24 years old when he died.
Kelvin Kiptum Early Life and Education
Kelvin Kiptum was born on December 2, 1999, in Chepsamo village, Eldoret, in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. He came from a family of athletes, as his father was a former runner and his mother played volleyball. He had two brothers and two sisters, who also shared his passion for running. Kiptum started running at an early age, influenced by his idols Eliud Kipchoge and Haile Gebrselassie.
He attended St. Patrick’s High School in Iten, a town known for producing many Kenyan champions. There, he trained under the guidance of Brother Colm O’Connell, an esteemed Irish coach who has coached over 25 Olympic medalists.
Kelvin Kiptum Career
Kelvin Kiptum began his career professionally in 2016 as a long-distance marathon runner. In the year 2018, October Kiptum clinched his first professional win at the Eldoret half Marathon recording a best time 1:02:01.
In 2020, Kiptum participated in several international races, such as the Lisbon half marathon, the Casablanca marathon, and the Beirut marathon, where he emerged victorious. He set a new personal best of 58:42 at the Valencia half marathon in 2020, placing sixth.
Kiptum’s breakthrough came in 2022, when he ran the fastest-ever marathon debut at the Valencia marathon, becoming only the third man in history to break two hours and two minutes and setting the then fourth-quickest time ever. He clocked 2:01:59, breaking the course record by over a minute and finishing ahead of a strong field that included former world record holder Wilson Kipsang.
Following his remarkable achievement, Kiptum continued to make waves in the running world by clocking the second-fastest marathon in history with a time of 2:01:25, just 16 seconds shy of the world record, during the 2023 London Marathon, further solidifying his status as a formidable force in long-distance running.
He beat a star-studded line-up that included four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah, who finished ninth. Kiptum also set a new course record, breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s mark of 2:02:37 from 2019.
In his next race, the 2023 Chicago Marathon, the 23-year-old broke the world record by 34 seconds with a time of two hours and 35 seconds. Kiptum made history as the inaugural and sole individual to complete a marathon in under two hours and one minute within the parameters of a record-eligible race, cementing his place in the annals of running lore. He ran three of the seven fastest marathons in history. He also won the World Marathon Majors title for the 2022-2023 season, earning a $1 million bonus.
Kiptum was set to compete at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, where he was widely considered the favorite for the gold medal. He was also planning to attempt to become the first person to run the marathon in less than two hours in open competition.
Kelvin Kiptum Wife and Children
Kelvin Kiptum was married to Asenath Rotich, who was his source of support and stability. They had two children, a son named Caleb and a daughter named Precious. ³Kiptum and his wife lived in Eldoret, Kenya, where he trained for his races.
Kelvin Kiptum’s Death
Kelvin Kiptum’s death was a tragic and shocking event that occurred on 11 February 2024. He was travelling in a vehicle with his coach Gervais Hakizimana on a road near the town of Eldoret, close to where he had been training.
According to eyewitnesses, a speeding truck lost control and collided head-on with Kiptum’s car, killing both him and his coach instantly. The truck driver survived the crash and was arrested by the police, who are investigating the cause of the accident.
Kiptum’s body was taken to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, where he was identified by his family and fellow runners.
Kelvin Kiptum Net Worth
Kelvin Kiptum’s net worth was approximately $500,000 as of 2024. He earned his wealth from his remarkable career as a long-distance runner, winning several international races and setting world records. He also had endorsements and sponsorships from various brands in the sports industry.