Mbelenzi Pays Tribute To Kenyan Kiptum

February 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Kenyan Dennis Mbelenzi, a well-known runner in local races, has paid tribute to his compatriot and men’s marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died in a road accident in his home country yesterday [February 11].

Kiptum, who was killed alongside his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana, was 24 years old.

He won the London Marathon in April before setting the 26.2-mile world record in 2hr 0min 35sec at the Chicago Marathon in October last year.

Kiptum has been named in Kenya’s provisional marathon team for the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

Mbelenzi, who lived in Bermuda from 2007 to 2019 and retained his PwC Bermuda Marathon title last month, wrote on Facebook: “There are losses, deaths, or events that you never recover from; you just learn to live with the pain or loss.

“The death of Kelvin Kiptum is one such; he leaves us with the biggest ‘what if he lived’ moment.

“Gone way too soon – he hadn’t even reached his prime in the marathon, and in an Olympic year and only two months away from attempting to pull off a sub-2 in an official ratifiable marathon – the ultimate final barrier.”

Mbelenzi, who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, has fond memories of meeting Kiptum while competing in the Chicago Marathon.

“We can only hold onto the memories he has left us with; I met and talked with him in Chicago before his world record, and we talked about the race, as soft-spoken as he was on his interviews,” he added.

“He leaves us with a world record that will take some very talented and brave athlete to break.”

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