Marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum died in a car crash in Kenya late Sunday, a fellow athlete who went to the hospital and saw the body says. He was 24.
Kiptum’s coach was also killed in the crash, Kenyan runner Milcah Chemos says. The crash happened on a road between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, she says, in the heart of the high-altitude region that’s renowned as a training base for long distance runners.
Chemos says she was among a group of athletes who had gone to the hospital in Eldoret after hearing the news of the crash. Family members of Kiptum were also with them to identify his body, Chemos says.
Kiptum was the first man to run the marathon in under 2 hours, 1 minute. He set the new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October, beating the mark of fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge.
Kiptum’s record was ratified by international track federation World Athletics last week.