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Collins Kipkemboi: How Sh100 Handout Saved Me From Accident That Killed Kelvin Kiptum

Collins Kipkemboi: How Sh100 Handout Saved Me From Accident That Killed Kelvin Kiptum

A confidant of Kelvin Kiptum, the current World Marathon record holder, has shared details about their final discussion just before receiving the heartbreaking news of Kiptum’s fatal accident on Sunday night.

Nineteen-year-old Collins Kipkemboi was scheduled to accompany Kiptum and his Rwandan coach, Gervais Hakizamana, on a journey to Eldoret on Sunday. However, he postponed the trip due to expecting assistance from his local Member of Parliament, a decision that may have ultimately preserved his life.

Kipkemboi Tuesday informed Gossipa2z that Kiptum had assured him of accompanying him to Eldoret town to catch the Sunday evening English Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa. However, Kiptum’s delay was attributed to his awaiting financial assistance from Keiyo South MP Gideon Kimaiyo. As the MP was engaged in a church service, the duo decided to proceed without him.

Kipkemboi stated that Kiptum invited him to join them in Eldoret, but he lacked sufficient funds for transportation. Consequently, he waited patiently to approach Mr. Kimaiyo, seeking an additional Sh100 to cover the remaining cost of his journey to Eldoret.

Due to a delay of over five hours, Kipkemboi mentioned that Kiptum forwarded him a sum of Sh300.

“I was eyeing a Sh100 handout from our Keiyo South MP who normally gives locals handouts after a church service but since Kiptum was in a hurry, he sent me Sh300 via MPesa as fare to Eldoret so that I could join them after the church service,” said Kipkemboi.

Having received Sh100 from the MP, Kipkemboi began getting ready to depart for Eldoret. However, he got a text from Kiptum instructing him not to embark on the journey but instead to wait at the Small town Chepkorio Centre. They planned to watch the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) final together at Kiptum’s house.

Armed with that knowledge, he returned to his residence, anticipating his friend’s arrival at Chepkorio later that evening to enjoy the game together.

At approximately 11 pm, while at Chepkorio witnessing the Afcon final, Kipkemboi received a phone call from his brother who conveyed the news of the athlete being in a road accident.

With the company of their companions, they hurried to the location, only to discover the aspiring marathon runner and his trainer lifeless.


Kipkemboi characterized Kiptum as a benevolent companion who consistently stood prepared to assist both his friends and the community.

“This nice T-shirt that I am wearing was given by Kiptum. Talk to any youth from the Chepkorio center and you will hear good testimonies about the generosity of Kiptum,” said Kipkemboi.

The young individuals at the Chepkorio center praised the deceased Kiptum as a modest, sociable, and benevolent individual. He consistently showed care for their well-being and was always willing to share his possessions, irrespective of his standing.

“Even after winning the marathon, where he was given some money, he did not change. He was the same Kiptum who used to socialize with locals at Chepkorio Centre,” Moses Kemboi, a video owner at Chepkorio Centre said.

He mentioned that whenever Kiptum took part in international competitions, he would cover the expenses for residents to spectate the races on multiple occasions.

After his passing, numerous businesses in Chepkorio have shuttered, with their owners opting to observe a period of mourning for their esteemed hero. Residents have been gathering at the center to commemorate the life of one of their community members.

“Whenever he won any race, there was celebration in this Centre. He would buy everyone sodas at Chepkorio to celebrate his victory,” said Edith Kiplagat, a vegetable vendor at Chepkorio, who revealed that all churches in the area had since January this year started holding prayers for Kiptum to win the Rotterdam Marathon on April 14 this year.

Novestar Kirwa, the pacesetter, fondly reminisced about Kiptum’s cheerful demeanor during their recent training session at the Fluorspar training camp last Saturday. Kirwa portrayed Kiptum as not only a role model but also a significant figure for the youths in the region.

“I was to be his pacesetter in the April competition. I have been left an orphan, Kiptum was a role model to all of us,” said Kirwa amid tears.

Collins Kipkemboi: How Sh100 Handout Saved Me From Accident That Killed Kelvin Kiptum