Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay opens up on friendship with late Kelvin Kiptum

Monday, April 15th, 2024 10:36 | By
Kiptum’s final journey
Kelvin Kiptum. PHOTO/World Athletics

Tanzanian professional long-distance runner Gabriel Geay has spoken fondly of his relationship with the late Kelvin Kiptum, whom he described as a lovely person.

Geay, who achieved a personal best in Valencia and trains occasionally in Iten, Kenya, developed a close bond with Kiptum, who tragically passed away in a road accident last February.

Kelvin Kiptum potential

Geay expressed gratitude for the opportunity to race alongside Kiptum during his peak, believing that Kiptum had the potential for even greater accomplishments.

Kelvin Kibet poses with his prize after being feted by World Athletics during their gala last year. PHOTO/WORLD ATHLETICS

“I was privileged to know him, a lovely person he was. Then racing him when he was at his peak…it was obvious that there was still so much more he could have achieved…,” he said with his voice trailing off, Kiptum’s tragic death still so raw and vivid for him.

Recalling their time together, particularly at the Valencia Marathon, Geay cherished the moments they shared before and after the race, admiring Kiptum's abilities and character.

“Valencia was special for us, we had both raced in the 2021 half marathon there before that amazing marathon run in 2022. We travelled together to Valencia together and spent a lot of time before and after the race. I had great admiration for him," he told

Affected by Kelvin Kiptum death

The news of Kiptum's passing deeply impacted Geay, rendering him unable to train on that day. He had eagerly awaited Kiptum's future achievements following his success in Chicago.

“The news of his death hit me hard...It was shocking and devastating. It took me a while for the news to sink in. I couldn’t even train that day…After Chicago, I had longed to see what else he could achieve in marathon running.”

As a prominent figure in Tanzanian athletics, Geay holds the national record for the marathon and has secured notable victories in various road races.

Marathon fastest runner Kelvin Kiptum. PHOTO/
Marathon fastest runner Kelvin Kiptum. PHOTO/

His athletic achievements include competing in prestigious events such as the Peachtree Road Race and the Bolder Boulder 10K, as well as representing Tanzania in international competitions like the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Throughout his career, Geay has amassed significant prize money and earned recognition for his remarkable performances.

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