‘I will still make my vows of love in your absence’: Kelvin Kiptum’s widow

April 2024 was meant to be a beautiful month for Asenath Cheruto.

This was the month she would have exchanged vows with the love of her life, her husband- world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum. It is a dream of many women to have such a ceremony.

It would also have been the month Cheruto, the mother of Kelvin’s two children would have accompanied her husband to Rotterdam for the April 14 Marathon, where the world’s fastest marathoner was eyeing to set yet another global record.

But as fate would have it, Kiptum’s death cut short these dreams, among many others.

It has emerged that the international marathoner was planning a colourful wedding with his wife Cheruto, to solemnize their marriage.

In an emotional tribute, Ms Cheruto, accompanied by their two children Caleb, 7, and Precious, 4, mourned her departed husband as a loving and caring man who dearly cherished his family.

She told throngs of mourners, attending the athlete’s funeral ceremony at Chepkorio grounds in Keiyo South constituency, Elgeyo Marakwet county on Friday that she would go on and make her vows of love even in her husband’s absence.

“I will still make my vows of love even in your absence,” she said, fighting back tears.

The late Kiptum was married to Cheruto in 2017 in a traditional ceremony, according to the published eulogy.

The widow regretted that they didn’t get to enjoy the rewards of his toil as a young family, promising to stay strong for their two children, and in his honour.

President William Ruto, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, and top athletes and athletics officials were among the dignitaries who attended the funeral ceremony, with the President pledging a second house to the widow in honour of the departed athlete, besides what the government constructed at the couple’s Naiberi farm where the late athlete was laid to rest on Friday afternoon.

The late Kiptum was the only child of his father Samson Cheruiyoit and mother Mary Kangogo and had one step-sister- Rhodah Chemutai.

“I mourn you my love and I promise to stay strong for the sake of our children. I promise to make them smile in your honour, I promise to make you happy,” Cheruto mourned.

Mourners turned up in large numbers to pay their last respects to the fallen internationally celebrated marathoner at the funeral ceremony at Chepkorio showground.

President William Ruto, responding to requests from speakers to consider employment for the widow, promised to find her something to do.

Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei asked Kiptum’s Governor Wisley Rotich to consider employing the widow at the county government of Elgeyo Marakwet so that she stays close to home and can support the family.

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