The massive wealth Kelvin Kiptum earned in his short but lucrative marathon career

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ATHLETICS The massive wealth Kelvin Kiptum earned in his short but lucrative marathon career

Joel Omotto 08:03 - 29.02.2024

Kelvin Kiptum’s death cut short a promising career but the world marathon record holder had already earned a big fortune in just three races run in less than one year.

The world is still getting to terms with the demise of world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum who died alongside his coach Gervais Hakizimana following a road accident on Sunday 11 February.

Following his burial last Friday, conversation has now turned to who will fill his big shoes but for his family, it will be how to manage the wealth he left behind.

Already, the family has been rocked by a woman who has claimed to have a child with Kiptum and sought, unsuccessfully, to block his burial until a DNA was conducted to ascertain the paternity of the child so that she could benefit from the athlete’s wealth.

By the time he died, Kiptum was just starting out on what promised to be a dominant and lucrative career but even in his short stint, he had made a substantial sum of money.

At just 24, Kiptum had achieved what more than some veterans can dream of, and more remarkably, it came in just under a year in three marathons.

So, how much did Kiptum earn in his short marathon career?

Debut to remember in Valencia

Kiptum’s marathon debut was in Valencia in December 2022 when he ran the fastest time for a debutant and also the fourth-fastest in history at the time after clocking 2:01:53.

His time is currently the sixth fastest time in history but it earned him over Ksh10 million on the day.

Winners of the Valencia Marathon who run under 2:04:30 pocket 75,000 Euros (Ksh11,715,444) which means Kiptum had a debut to remember in the Spanish city.

Five months later, Kiptum boosted his bank balance even further when he came 16 seconds short of breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s world record in London last April.

Big harvest in London

Kiptum won the race in a new course record of 2:01:25, the second fastest time in history at the time.

Winners of the London Marathon each get $55,000 (Ksh7,929,922) but it is on records where runners make much more.

On top of the winner’s prize, any runner in the men's race who clocks a sub-2:02.00 time can get a share of $150,000 (Ksh21,627,061). That goes down to $100,000 (Ksh14,418,041) for under 2:03.00, $75,000 (Ksh10,813,530) for sub-2:04.00, and $50,000 (Ksh7,209,020) for under 2:05.

Kiptum, therefore, became the first man to ever claim the $150,000 (Ksh21,627,061) for managing the sub-2:02.00 and he did not share it with anyone as second-placed Geoffrey Kamworor finished two minutes, 58 seconds later.

He went home with the entire purse of $205,000 (Ksh29,556,984) for winning the race and running a sub-2:02:00 time.

After his heroics in London, Kiptum was tipped as the man to take over the mantle from Kipchoge and he did not disappoint six months later in Chicago where he ran an incredible 2:00:32 to set a new world record.

World record in Chicago

As a result, Kiptum received a bonus of $50,000 (Ksh7,209,020) for setting a new record, which is offered uniformly across all competitive divisions by the Chicago Marathon.

In addition to the bonus, Kiptum pocketed $100,000 (Ksh14,418,041) for winning the race.

Overall, Kiptum's total earnings for winning the Chicago Marathon and setting a new world record were $150,000 (Ksh21,627,061).

The newly-crowned world marathon record holder would then also be awarded Ksh5 million by the Government of Kenya following a new reward scheme.

In total, Kiptum made Ksh67,899,492 from his three races alone and there was also more in appearance fees and from his sponsors which have not been revealed.

It shows just how his death cut short a very lucrative career that would have yielded much more this year had he managed to run a marathon under two hours and also claimed an Olympics gold in Paris.