How Athlete Kelvin Kiptum Spent His Millions

Photo collage of world record holder Kelvin Kiptum holding a cheque alongside Sports CS Ababu Namwamba and the athlete winning the Chicago Marathon in 2023.
Photo collage of world record holder Kelvin Kiptum holding a cheque alongside Sports CS Ababu Namwamba and the athlete winning the Chicago Marathon in 2023.

The sports industry was rocked by the tragic death of Kelvin Kiptum, the world record holder whose promising future had just started to emerge.

Before his death on Sunday, February 11, Kiptum had amassed a career spanning five years, with his breakout performance transpiring in October 2023 where he shattered the marathon record by running 2:00:35, eclipsing the 2:01:09 held by legend Eliud Kipchoge.

Despite his short yet promising career, Kiptum gained fame and stood among the top one per cent on the global stage.

Kiptum ran a total of 13 races, both local and international, and was sponsored by Golazo Company - an institution that prides itself as a trailblazer for recreational sports events in Europe.

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Kiptum's Millions, Amiss?

During the period, Kiptum earned over Ksh46 million drawing from the multiple marathons he dominated and records broken. 

However, the athlete had not received the entire funds owing to the processes incurred before the event organisors deposited funds to the management company handling the athlete.

Athletes often turn to companies to handle their funds and invest in their branding, networking opportunities as well as legal and financial assistance.  

Following his demise, Marc Corstjens, Golazo Company manager, confirmed that all the millions owed to the athlete would be used to set up a foundation for his children's education.

"We are not just a company that looks for talent and sports, but we also look beyond that. We assess the person behind it, to the family. We are thinking about establishing a foundation to support young children through basic education all the way to university in honour of the departed Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakiziman," he recently stated.

However, Kiptum spent part of his money transforming the lives of his family.

He purchased a four-acre farm for his father, Samson Cheruiyot, where he had promised to build a house. President William Ruto fulfilled this promise by ordering the house to be built in a record seven days and handed over to the family during the funeral service held in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County on Friday, February 23.

Further, Kiptum was able to take care of his parental duties, taking care of his children, Caleb and Precious, whom he sired with his wife Asenath Rotich.

Promises to Family

The athlete had promised to uplift his family's lives upon receiving his millions. According to his wife, the marathoner had promised his children wristwatches and dates once he returned home on Monday, February 12 - a promise that did not materialise after his life was cut short 24 hours prior.

Additionally, Kiptum's father indicated that his son had promised to buy him a car through his record-breaking feat.

Breakdown of Millions

For breaking the World record in the 2023 Chicago Marathon, Kiptum earned a total of Ksh27.3 million, including Ksh14.9 million from the event organisors, Ksh7.4 million from Nike, the event sponsor and Ksh5 million from the Kenyan government.

Marathoner Kelvin Kiptum (left) and his coach Gervais Hakizimana.
Marathoner Kelvin Kiptum (left) and his coach Gervais Hakizimana.

Last year, President Ruto had promised athletes that they would receive Ksh5 million for every record broken. He would also be accorded several privileges such as a diplomatic passport and state honours.

In April 2023, Kiptum also emerged first in the TCS London marathon with an impressive record of 2:01:25. Following the race, he received an average of Ksh8 million.

In December 2022, the athlete also outwitted his competitors in the Valencia Marathon, bagging an approximate Ksh11 million in the process.

Overall, the total amount, the athlete scooped is an average of Ksh46.3 million, excluding the half marathons.


The millions earned by athletes are, however, subject to taxation by the host country before they are remitted. For instance, Kenyans who compete in races in the US reportedly pay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 30 per cent taxation.

This is because the IRS views the athletes as contractors and deducts the amount before handing the remaining cash from the prize money.

Namwamba Promise

During the funeral service on Friday, February 23, held in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Sports CS Ababu Namwamba promised that his ministry would ensure every coin is collected to benefit the athlete's family. 

"The ministry is being very deliberate in documenting anything that was due to Kiptum from government, agents, endorsements and management. We shall pursue every single coin and make sure it is put together for the benefit of the family," he stated. 

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