Kelvin Kiptum: What the Late Kenyan Marathon Star Earned in His Career

Kelvin Kiptum: What the Late Kenyan Marathon Star Earned in His Career

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at February 13, 2024 at 10:12 AM
  • Kelvin Kiptum tragically died in a road accident on Sunday, February 11
  • The men's world marathon record holder's career was just taking off
  • Kiptum participated in three major marathons and won a lot of money

The sports world is still mourning the death of Kenyan athlete, Kelvin Kiptum.

The world record holder passed away in a road accident alongside his coach, Rwanda's Gervais Hakizimana, on Sunday, February 11, in Kenya.

Kiptum was only 24 when he passed away, and top athletes like Eliud Kipchoge, Mo Farah, and Noah Lyles have paid their tributes.

Kelvin Kiptum, Chicago Marathon, London Marathon, kenya
Kelvin Kiptum's world record will stand for a while. Photo by Michael Reaves.
Source: Getty Images

The Kenyan died after taking part in just three major marathons in his career after a series of half-marathons in Europe.

According to World Athletics, he made his international debut in 2019 at the Lisbon Half Marathon. He clocked 59:54 to finish fifth before lowering his personal best to 58:42 at the Valencia Half Marathon.

Before bursting onto the scene, he ran in the Lens and Valencia Half Marathon in 2021.

Kiptum's marathon stats

The world record holder made his full marathon debut in Valencia. In that race, he finished in a course record of 2:01:53, the fastest debut marathon in history.

Furthermore, it was the third fastest marathon time ever behind his compatriot, Eliud Kipchoge, and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele.

In 2023, the world took notice when he ran the then-second-fastest marathon ever. The youngster clocked a sensational course record of 2:01:25 to win the London Marathon.

After that win, he began preparation for his best marathon ever. He won the 2023 Chicago Marathon, clocking a world record of 2:00:35, shaving 34 seconds off Kipchoge’s 2022 world record set in Berlin.

He was planning to lower the world record at the 2024 Rotterdam Marathon in April; unfortunately, we will never witness more history from the Kenyan superstar.

What Kiptum earned in his career

Kiptum has run in 10 half-marathons in Kenya, Spain, Portugal, France, and Japan. In those races, he finished in the top two a total of three times.

Most of the half-marathons' prize money was not disclosed, so it won't be included in his career earnings. His sponsorship and endorsement deals will also be excluded.

By winning his first marathon, the Valencia Marathon in 2022, he earned $80, 000.

At the London Marathon, he took home $55,000 for setting a new course record. He received bonuses for the course record, per the Independent.

In October 2023, he set a world record. By winning the race and setting a new world record, he earned a total of $150,000, per NBC Chicago.

Therefore, the Kiptum died after earning over $285,000 in his career. This translates to around 45 million Kenyan shillings.

Kiptum vs Kipchoge

Sports Brief also previously compared Kiptum and Kipchoge's first three career marathons, with the late athlete taking part in three marathons before his passing, while Kipchoge ran 19.

The veteran double Olympic champion won 16 of the 19 marathons and has been on top of the world since 2013, with Kiptum seen as the successor to the veteran double Olympic champion.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.