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Nike Issues Statement on the Tragic Death of Marathon World Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum

Update: Feb. 12, 2023

Nike has issued a statement on the tragic death of Kenya-born long distance runner Kelvin Kiptum.

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“We are heartbroken by the tragic passing of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” Nike wrote in a statement emailed to FN. “Not only was Kelvin a beloved member of the Nike family, he was an inspiration to countless athletes and fans around the world. While he was just getting started, Kelvin’s impact on the sport of running will forever be remembered. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of Kelvin and Gervais.”

What We Reported on Feb. 11, 2023

Kelvin Kiptum, the Kenya-born long distance runner who broke the men’s marathon world record in October 2023, has died. He was 24.

According to multiple reports, Kiptum died in a car accident in Kenya on Sunday night. The reports also stated his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, has died.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Police Commandant Peter Mulinge, according to an Olympics.com report, confirmed the accident took place on the Eldoret-Kaptagat road. An ESPN report further stated the road, which is between the western Kenya towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat, is in a high-altitude area used as a training base for long-distance runners.

Kiptum, a Nike athlete, won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7, 2023, breaking the men’s marathon world record during the race. Kiptum finished the race with a time of 2 hours and 35 seconds. His time bested that of Eliud Kipchoge, the previous record holder, who held the men’s world record with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute and 9 seconds, set at the 2022 BMW Berlin Marathon.

According to World Athletics, Kiptum — one of six athletes named World Athletes of the Year for 2023 — has three of the seven fastest marathon times in history.

FN has reached out to Nike for comment.

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at peter.verry@footwearnews.com.

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