The sports community is still reeling over the death on Monday morning of former Seoul Marathon winner Frankline Chepkwony.
Chepkwony, a seasoned long-distance runner, fell and died on his way home from a long run in Moringwo, Eldama Ravine, Baringo County.
After Chepkwony fainted, his uncle, Joseph Tele, said a training partner attempted first aid until a Good Samaritan transported him to Eldama Ravine Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.
“I was called when he was rushed to the hospital and unfortunately he passed on. We are now planning on his burial. We shall announce the date of his burial once we agree as a family,” said Tele.
Mike Boit, a training mate, said they had a programme of about 23km on Monday morning and did some warm down exercises before parting ways.
“Our programme went on well and he was in high spirits during training. I was called when I got home that my friend had collapsed and I couldn’t believe it. I rushed to his home where I confirmed indeed he was no more,” said Boit, a marathoner.
Boit said that the late Chepkwony was still recovering after competing at the Nairobi City Marathon last month.
Chepkwony made his international debut with victory at the 2012 Zurich Marathon after timing 2:10:57 before finishing second at the Eindhoven Marathon where he clocked his personal best of 2:06:11 later that year.
He won the 2013 Seoul Marathon in 2:06:59, then wound seventh at the 2013 Amsterdam Marathon in 2:09:53.
He made his debut in the World Marathon Majors in 2014, finishing third in the Boston Marathon in a race won by USA’s Meb Keflezighi. Kenya’s Wilson Chebet was second.
Former world marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto, who used to train with him at Kapng’etuny in Ainabkoi, Uasin Gishu County, was shocked to learn of Chepkwony’s death.
“He was a humble athlete who always demonstrated teamwork. It is so sad that he had to die in such a manner. We shall miss him,” said Kimetto.
His body has since been moved to the Eldama Ravine Hospital mortuary.