Marathoner Wesley Ngetich Dies in Kenyan Chaos

Posted by Filed Under: News and Opinion

newsbriefs.jpgThe ongoing violence in Kenya has claimed the life of a second prominent athlete. Wesley Ngetich, a two-time winner of the Grandma’s Marathon with a personal best of 2:12, was killed on Monday near the Tanzanian border in Trans Mara.

According to his manager, Ngetich, 34, was hit in the chest by a poisoned arrow. It is unclear whether Ngetich was defending himself. He leaves behind a wife and three children, ages 8, 6 and 1.

Ngetich had planned to run at the Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Phoenix last weekend but was unable to safely fly out of the country. The winner of that race, Lawrence Kiplimo Sania, said he risked his life trying to leave the country.

Almost 800 people have died in Kenya, usually one of the most stable countries in Africa, since the start of the year after an election held on December 27 was contested by the opposition. The violence has been directed mostly at the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest and most powerful ethnic group.

Clashes have been especially bad in the western Rift Valley province, where virtually all Kenyan runners come from.

Seoul medalist Lucas Sang was the other well-known athlete who was killed.

About Adeel

Adeel is a 21-year old student living in Canada. He has been running for eight years and has personal bests of 17:44 for 5k, 36:38 for 10k, 1:26 for a half marathon and 3:10 for a marathon.

  1. momontherun on January 26th at 6:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing! We as North Americans take for granted how safe our little corner of the world is, not only for trianing, but also for our families. This is such a tragedy.

  2. Pam Sindorf Haynes on March 29th at 9:42 am

    In 2005, I ran my first marathon at age 54 in Duluth, Minnesota (Grandma’s Marathon). I was thrilled to have finished the race in under 5 hours. As my husband and I were boarding the airplane taking us from Duluth to Minneapolis where we were to fly home, we heard some folks in front of us talking about the winner of the race, Wesley being in the same line along with a few of his fellow top runners . I was so excited. I went to him and asked him if he would allow my husband to take a picture with him, me and his friend, who took 3rd place and without hesitation…without consideration…but, rather with total pleasure, he stepped out of the line and my husband shot the picture. It remains framed in my bedroom. I continue to run marathons. Wesley continues to be a role model, inspiration and tragic figure who died while doing what he loved to do. He was so very humble. My thoughts are with his family. Pam