Grandma's Marathon defending champ killed in Kenyan violence

Wesly Ngetich
Wesly Ngetich, 2005 and 2007 Grandma's Marathon winner
Photo courtesy of Grandma's Marathon

Grandma's Marathon organizers in Duluth, Minn., reported Monday that two-time men's champion Wesly Ngetich was killed during ongoing violence in Kenya.

According to "Race Results Weekly," the 34-year-old Ngetich was shot in the chest with an arrow during fighting in his hometown of Trans Mara, Kenya.

"Words cannot express our feelings at this moment. Our sympathies go out to Wesly's family and friends and our thoughts and prayers will remain with them during this extremely sad and difficult time," said Scott Keenan, Executive Director of Grandma's Marathon. "We loved having Wesly here at Grandma's and he enjoyed coming here. It is difficult to imagine that he is gone."

In a press release, Marathon organizers said Ngetich, the 2005 and 2007 men's champion of Grandma's Marathon, was expected to return to Duluth to defend his title this June in an attempt to become the first ever three-time winner of the event. Four other men have won the race twice in the event's 31-year history (Garry Bjorklund, Dick Beardsley, Doug Kurtis and Patrick Maturi).

Ngetich had reportedly planned to run the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon in Phoenix, but could not get out of Kenya due to the fighting.

MPR News is Member Supported

What does that mean? The news, analysis and community conversation found here is funded by donations from individuals. Make a gift of any amount today to support this resource for everyone.