Kiptum contemplated forfeiting Chicago Marathon three weeks before breaking world record

ATHLETICS Kiptum contemplated forfeiting Chicago Marathon three weeks before breaking world record

Mark Kinyanjui 08:00 - 26.02.2024

Kiptum's teammate has revealed that the fallen world marathon record holder contemplated dropping out of the Chicago Marathon completely last October before going on to make history.

Hillary Kipchumba, a friend and teammate of the fallen world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum, has revealed that the 24-year-old nearly quit the Chicago Marathon just a few weeks before he broke the record.

Kiptum, who was laid to rest in his farm in Elgeyo Marakwet on Friday, set the world record at 2:00:35 at the event and was targeting more glory in Rotterdam this year before tragically passing alongside his coach Gervais Hakizimana in a road accident on Sunday 11 February.

Now, Kipchumba, who met Kiptum in 2018 during the Eldoret Half Marathon before they formed a lasting friendship that was cut short by the tragedy, has revealed that he almost never set the record entirely.

“Three weeks to Chicago Marathon, his body couldn’t respond any longer and he could not finish the training programme,” Kipchumba said as quoted by Nation Sport.

Kiptum’s body had been failing to react to training conditions which convinced him that he could not run and prompted him to tell his coach to make arrangements to get it canceled.

Fortunately, Kiptum’s body ceased letting him down at the eleventh hour.

“He would train until certain points and stop… he asked his coach to cancel the race but the coach told him to train until the last week so that they could contact the race director and thankfully, he adjusted to training once again.”

Less than six months on from his 2:01:25 London Marathon win, which saw him become the second-fastest marathon runner of all time, Kiptum would go on to improve by another 50 seconds to surpass the world record mark of 2:01:09 set by his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin in 2022.

It was just the third marathon of his career, which began with a 2:01:53 debut in Valencia last December, Kiptum even had enough energy to celebrate his historic performance on the way to the finish line – pointing to the crowds and the tape on his approach.

Kiptum left behind his widow Asenath Rotich and two children, his seven-year-old son Caleb and four-year-old daughter Precious.

 He was the only child of Samson Cheruiyot and Mary Kangogo.

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