Kenyan athlete Charles Kipsang dies after completing Cameroon mountain race

Charles Kipsang
Charles Kipsang RIP (Image credit: Charles Kipsang / Instagram)

The running world is in mourning after the tragic death of celebrated Kenyan runner Charles Kipsang at the end of the Cameroon Mountain Race of Hope on Saturday, February 24. 

The 39km race included a gruelling climb of the West African nation’s the highest mountain, Mount Cameroon. 

According to South West Regional Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai, 33-year-old Kipsang was leading the race but began to feel unwell towards the end.

Kipsang, competing in the Men's Senior Category for his fourth time, was the first of more than 550 runners to reach the summit of the 4,095m Mount Cameroon and showed remarkable dominance throughout the race.

But he started showing signs of discomfort in the latter stages of the race. However, he declined to let paramedics check him over.

“He developed a malaise and stopped during the race for some time. He was asked to get into the ambulance but he took some soda and continued to race,” explained Bilai to local media.

Kipsang appeared visibly exhausted in the final kilometer, but he completed the race, crossing the line in 16th position at the Molyko Stadium.

But his condition deteriorated rapidly when he went to to podium to collect his medal. He collapsed and was pronounced dead on arrival at the local hospital.

“It is a great loss for African athletics,” the governor said, pointing out that Kipsang has been on course to become the first Kenyan to win the race.

Athletics Kenya issued a statement expressing their condolences and saying they were in contact with the Cameroonian authorities over the incident.

To  many Charles Kipkorir Kipsang was not just an athlete but a symbol of endurance and dedication. His passion for running and his commitment to excellence made him an inspiring and respected figure in African athletics. 

Our thought are with his friends and family.