Nairobi, Kenya — Kenyan marathoner Franklin Chepkwony, a former Seoul Marathon champion, tragically passed away on Monday after collapsing post-training in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County. Chepkwony’s legacy includes winning the Seoul International Marathon in 2013 and owning a personal best of 2:06:11 in Eindhoven in 2012.
A Sudden Loss
The 39-year-old Chepkwony, who had just completed a 23-kilometer training run, reportedly collapsed on his way home. His training partner, Mike Boit, expressed shock and disbelief at the sudden loss, recalling that Chepkwony was in high spirits during their training session.
Chepkwony’s recent participation in the Nairobi City Marathon on July 2, where he placed 54th, was noted by Boit. Efforts to administer first aid were made by a colleague before a good Samaritan rushed him to Eldama Ravine Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Chepkwony’s running career included several achievements. He first gained attention in 2011 at the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon, finishing second. His international debut in 2012 started with a then personal best time of 2:10:58 at the Zurich Marathon, which he went on to improved a year later in South Korea.
His victory at the Seoul International Marathon in 2013 earned him $80,000 for finishing under 2:10:00, with a time of 2:06:59. Later that year, he set his personal best of 2:06:11 at the Eindhoven Marathon in the Netherlands, ranking him 26th in the world.
Other notable performances include a third-place finish at the Boston Marathon in 2014 and setting a course record at the Boulogne-Billancourt Half Marathon in France.
Tributes and Mourning
The Kenyan athletic community has been mourning the loss of Chepkwony, with various athletes expressing their sorrow on social media. His family is currently planning his burial, and his body has been moved to Eldama Ravine Mortuary.
Chepkwony’s uncle, Joseph Tele, spoke of the family’s grief and the process of coming to terms with the sudden loss. “We are now planning his burial. We shall announce the date of his burial once we agree as a family,” Tele said.
Franklin Chepkwony’s legacy as a marathon great will be remembered not only for his victories but for his spirit and dedication to the sport. His sudden passing serves as a somber reminder of the physical demands of elite athletics, leaving a void in the Kenyan running community.
Source: The Star