The world has lost a legend.

Kelvin Kiptum, who last year ran the fastest marathon in history, died in a car crash along with his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, on Sunday night in Eldoret, Kenya.

Kiptum was just 24 years old. Hakizimana was 36.

Kiptum’s time of 2 hours, 35 seconds at the 2023 Chicago Marathon was ratified by World Athletics just last week, meaning he died as the official world record-holder in the marathon. He was also projected by many to become the first runner to break the elusive two-hour mark in the marathon.

In a short professional career that spanned just three major marathons (Valencia 2022, London 2023, Chicago 2023), Kiptum cemented a legacy as one of the all-time greats. He ran three of the seven fastest marathon times in history and was set to represent Kenya at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Kiptum was born in the Elgeyo-Marakwet County of Kenya in 1999. He began running in village running groups when he was 13, borrowing others’ shoes until he could afford to buy his own. He molded himself into a legend with intense training, toiling through between 150 and 170 miles per week.

Kiptum's father, Samson Cheruiyot, is a farmer in Kenya's Rift Valley. In a recent interview with Citizen TV, he revealed that his son had, just a day before his death, promised to build him a house and buy him a car through his running profits.

Kiptum is also survived by his wife and two children. He leaves behind a legacy of rigorous dedication, wide ambition and, of course, jaw-dropping accomplishment.

“I will get close to the sub-two barrier, so why not aim to break it?” Kiptum said at a press conference before the Rotterdam Marathon last year. “That might look ambitious, but I’m not afraid. ... There’s no limit to human energy.”

In the aftermath of the tragic news, tributes to Kiptum have poured in from all corners of the globe.

Two-time Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe

IOC President Thomas Bach

Two-time 800m Olympic champion David Rudisha

Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah

Five-time Olympian Bernard Lagat

William Ruto, President of Kenya

Raila Odinga, former Prime Minister of Kenya

Nike, Kiptum's Sponsor

Chicago Marathon

London Marathon