Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, 37, were both killed in the accident, and a 24-year-old woman identified as Sharon Kosgey suffered serious injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital, he said. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.
Kiptum made international headlines in October when he won the Chicago marathon in 2 hours 35 seconds, making him the first man to run an official race in under 2 hours 1 minute, and overtaking fellow Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge’s record. A year before, Kiptum had never raced in a marathon.
“I didn’t know I’d be a great marathon runner,” he told a reporter after his Chicago victory, describing his skill as something that came naturally.
David Rudisha, a two-time Olympic champion runner for Kenya in the 800-meter race, wrote on social media that he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the deaths of Kiptum and Hakizimana. “This is a huge loss,” he said.
Raila Odinga, the former prime minister and a prominent opposition leader in Kenya, called Kiptum a “remarkable individual” and a “Kenyan Athletics icon.”
“Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero,” he said on social media.
“I have just started my training, and I hope to go there and do my best,” he told World Athletics in an interview published in December. “Maybe to beat my time. I think I try each time to push my limit.”