May 20, 2024

Kiptum to be honoured posthumously at Rotterdam

Kiptum to be honoured posthumously at Rotterdam
Kelvin Kiptum

World marathon record holder, the late Kelvin Kiptum, who was set to feature in next weekend's Rotterdam Marathon will be celebrated during the event, his sponsor has confirmed.

Kiptum's family will get a special trophy, according to a statement by Zepp Health, the firm that manufactures the AmazFit Cheetah Pro watch that Kiptum had signed a deal with before his demise.

"At the Rotterdam Marathon itself, Amazfit will further celebrate Kelvin's legacy by presenting a special trophy to his family," the statement partly reads. 

What's more, the organisers will retire the world record holder's bib number 1.

"The finish line timer will also display Kelvin's name when it reaches 1:59:59, serving as a poignant reminder of his relentless pursuit of excellence," the statement continues.

Kiptum, 24, had announced that he would attempt to run the April 14 Rotterdam Marathon in under two hours, seeking to become the first man to dip under two hours in a competitive marathon.

On 11 February, however, the rising star tragically lost his life in a road accident that also claimed his coach, Gervais Hakizimana's life. He is said to have lost control of his car and veered off the road, hitting a tree.

Kiptum won all three marathons he ran, including two World Marathon Majors (WMM) between December 2022 and October 2023. His times were three of the seven fastest marathon times, setting a course record of less than 2 hours 2 minutes in each race.

Kiptum ran the fastest-ever marathon debut at the 2022 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 followed it up four months later with the second-fastest marathon in history at 2:01:25, 16 seconds outside the world record, at the 2023 London Marathon (WMM).

At the 2023 Chicago Marathon six months later in October 2023, he broke the world record by 34 seconds with a time of 2:00:35, a mark ratified on 6 February 2024—five days before his death.