Marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum is dead at 24, having been killed in a car accident alongside his coach late Sunday in Kenya. The AP describes Kiptum, the first man to run a sub-2 hour, 1 minute marathon, as "on course to be a superstar of long-distance running." He set the current world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October. Kiptum and 36-year-old Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana died around 11pm after police say Kiptum lost control of his vehicle, reports the Guardian.
The crash occurred in a high-altitude area of western Kenya that is a favored training ground for long-distance runners. A woman who was also in the car was hospitalized with serious injuries. Kiptum's Chicago record was ratified last week. The Guardian notes he had vowed to become the first person to run a sub-2-hour marathon and intended to do so in Rotterdam in April. The BBC reports Kiptum, a father of two, had exploded onto the scene, having run his first full marathon in 2022 and going on to win the London Marathon in April 2023. "He competed in his first major competition four years earlier running in borrowed shoes as he could not afford a pair of his own," notes the BBC. (Read more on Kiptum here.)