The Murky Truths We Never Knew About Kelvin Kiptum

Shady business, a secret girlfriend and baby, and a beer or two

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In the weeks following the unexpected death of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, more and more information surrounding his life outside of running has been coming to the surface. 

While Kiptum was an inspiration to runners worldwide following his stunning yet short-lived marathon career, some murky truths have come to light since his passing, potentially tarnishing his legacy.

kelvin kiptum crossing chicago marathon finish line

Dubious Business Dealings

Just days before Kiptum’s tragic car accident, four men visited his home. The men were not met with Kiptum himself, but rather his father Samson Cheruiyot

Cheruiyot asked them to identify themselves. However, the mystery visitors refused and fled from the home.

Following his son’s death, Cheruiyot raised alarms about the four men, thinking they could have been connected to the death of the great marathoner.

However, as authorities delve deeper into the matter, the purpose behind their presence emerges, shedding light on a business negotiation their company had with Kiptum.

Initially believed to have been arrested, the quartet voluntarily surrendered themselves after being summoned to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) office in Kaptagat for questioning and dispelling any notions of secrecy or malintent. 

Their mission, it appears, was rooted in a contractual dispute involving a substantial sum of money – a deal between Kiptum and a Chinese sportswear company valued at over $300,000.

According to reports, the Chinese company had entered into an agreement with Kiptum to supply sports equipment for the 2023 Chicago Marathon, where he eventually went on to break the world record. 

However, tensions arose when Kiptum expressed his preference for a different brand, prompting the company to dispatch the four men to negotiate terms directly with the athlete.

The brand has not been identified.

“The heart of the matter was a deal Kiptum had signed with the Chinese firm to supply him with sports equipment for the Chicago Marathon,” explained Elgeyo Marakwet County Criminal Investigations Officer Joshua Chelal.

Was Kelvin Kiptum involved in some shady dealings with various sports brands? Was he playing the field and not remaining loyal to his brand partnerships?

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A Secret (Or Not-so-Secret) Girlfriend And Child

The controversy surrounding Kiptum’s alleged paternity emerged prominently just weeks after his death. Edna Awuor is the woman who claims to have had a child with the late marathon champion Kelvin Kiptum.

While initially Awuor’s claims were believed to be false, she has intensified her efforts to establish her child’s paternity, even requesting the High Court halt Kiptum’s burial to conduct DNA testing. Although her request was denied, Awuor has now begun releasing photographic evidence to substantiate her claims.

Although her application was declined, Awuor’s determination to prove her claims has not waned. Photos, purportedly depicting Kiptum with her child and herself, have surfaced online. 

While the authenticity of these images remains unverified, they have raised suspicions about Kiptum’s involvement with Awuor. 

In an interview with Eldoret Online TV, Awuor disclosed further details about her association with Kiptum, alleging that their relationship was known not only to Kiptum’s parents but also to his wife, Asenath Rotich

Awuor asserts that their families were acquainted, and Kiptum’s parents were aware of their child.

“We started our relationship in 2019, and even before he was a star, I knew him,” Awuor revealed. “He was a very nice person, and he took care of his child.”

Contrary to earlier reports suggesting estrangement between Awuor and Rotich, Awuor claims to have had a cordial relationship with Rotich, asserting that they would communicate regularly about Kiptum’s whereabouts.

Despite facing hurdles in her pursuit of recognition, Awuor remains steadfast in her quest. “I would want to have a DNA done to ascertain the paternity of his child,” she stated.

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Father-Son Disconnect

Two reporters from The Nation have meticulously retraced Kiptum’s steps during the final hours of his life. This included looking at CCTV footage and speaking with people who waited on him and his company at three restaurants and bars.

The waiter from the first restaurant confirmed that Kiptum consumed two beers before leaving at 7 p.m. The waiter attests that as Kiptum was leaving, he seemed sober and was walking steadily.

The final two establishments confirmed that Kiptum did not have any alcohol and did not even have anything to drink at the final restaurant.

Although toxicology reports have not yet been released, Kiptum may have been operating his car with alcohol in his system.

However, what casts a shadow over these details is that just a few months ago, Kiptum’s father spoke highly of his son’s habits and behaviors. Following the Chicago Marathon, Cheruiyot thanked his son for being obedient and not straying from the path of his humble upbringing.

Cheruiyot, a pastor and farmer from a small Kenyan village, said he had done everything he could to give Kiptum a straightforward life by passing on the secrets he learned from his parents.

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“I don’t have much to say…I am just a proud father full of joy. Everything I taught Kiptum, he obeyed and followed them to the letter. Ever since I was born, I have never tasted alcohol. This was an advice I was given by my parents, which I adhered to and passed down the same to Kelvin. My parents, even though they are no longer alive, I am proud of them for showing me the right away,” Cheruiyot said.

While his father was unaware of Kiptum’s alcohol consumption, it can only leave to question what else has yet to be uncovered about the great marathoner.

In the aftermath of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum’s tragic passing, revelations about his personal life have emerged, potentially marring his legacy. 

Suspicions surrounding business dealings, a mystery mother and child, and discrepancies between Samson Cheruiyot’s claims and his son’s actions have raised questions about the Kelvin Kiptum we knew outside the running world.

Despite the post-humous revelations, one thing is certain: Kelvin Kiptum remains the greatest marathon runner to date. His accomplishments and progression within the sport are unlike any other runner the world has seen, and he has left a lasting mark on the running community.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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