Kelvin Kiptum to be remembered with tribute ahead of London Marathon

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TCS London Marathon organisers plan to pay tribute to the late Kelvin Kiptum on Sunday with 30 seconds of applause ahead of the elite male race.

Kiptum won last year’s event and months later became the first man to run the marathon under two hours and one minute in Chicago.

The death of the Kenyan long-distance runner in a car accident in February at the age of 24 sent shockwaves through the sport and he will be remembered before Sunday’s London Marathon, which he won on three occasions and with a record time of two hours, one minute and 25 seconds in 2023.

“We will be having a tribute to him on the start line for what he did in the incredible short time he was in our sport,” London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher said of Kiptum.

“Three wins out of three events, he was our course record holder and he then became the world record holder in Chicago.

“It will be 30 seconds of applause. We want to celebrate the man. There will be a VT (video tape) played and we will be doing this in conjunction with the BBC in terms of what they’ll be doing.

“There will be some words that Geoff Whiteman will speak just to remind people and celebrate his short but impactful life.”

A number of high-profile figures will feature in the 26.2-mile run and this includes Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who will then make a quick dash to Wembley to watch his team take on Coventry for a place in the FA Cup final.

But Brasher insisted: “I think Jim probably doesn’t need a huge amount of advice from me on running the London Marathon.

“He has done seven London Marathons and that is three more than me!

“What he is doing for sport overall is incredibly positive but he definitely doesn’t need my advice on timing or how well to run.”

Brasher was quizzed on what type of security would be provided for Ratcliffe and other runners in the public eye.

While he could not divulge any specific details, the London Marathon race director talked more openly about the threat of demonstrations, especially with reference to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East which has affected thousands of Palestinians and Israeli people.

“There are people running for Palestinians that have been affected. There are people running for Israelis that have been affected. There are so many people running for so many different causes and what we’ve always tried to do is bring people together,” Brasher added.

Co-existence and togetherness is what the London Marathon is all about. We hope that message is the message that will resonate with anyone who does thing this should be a good thing to disrupt, because it isn't.

TCS London Marathon race director Huge Brasher

“We’ve always talked about the fact with Extinction Rebellion last year that they should be allowed to demonstrate, but that we should be allowed to co-exist.

“Co-existence and togetherness is what the London Marathon is all about. We hope that message is the message that will resonate with anyone who does think this should be a good thing to disrupt, because it isn’t.

“Again, I can’t really talk about the mitigations but there are numerous ones we have.”

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