Nairobi News

Must ReadNewsSportsWhat's Hot

RIP! Who is Charles Kipsang and what is mountain racing?

The sporting world has been thrown into mourning following the untimely death of athlete Charles Kipsang.

The 33-year-old Kenyan collapsed and tragically died after completing the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope in Buea, Cameroon on Saturday, February 24.

South West Regional Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai confirmed the heartbreaking news, stating that Kipsang had successfully completed the challenging 39km race, which involved climbing the highest mountain in the West African nation.

According to Governor Bilai, Kipsang was leading the race but began to feel unwell towards the end.

Also read: RIP: Kenyan athlete Charles Kipsang Kipkorir dies in Cameroon after finishing race

Despite his discomfort, Kipsang persevered, even refusing to enter an ambulance and opting to continue the race after taking some soda to alleviate his symptoms.

Despite being monitored by officials during the race, Kipsang’s condition deteriorated rapidly after he was called up to the podium to receive his award at the stadium. He collapsed and was pronounced dead on arrival at the local hospital.

Governor Bilai expressed deep sadness at the loss, noting that Kipsang was on the verge of making history as the first Kenyan to win the annual race.

Kipsang, who was the first of more than 550 runners to reach the summit of the 4,095 metre mountain, showed remarkable dominance throughout the race and held the lead for around four hours and twenty minutes.

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

Celebrated for his athleticism and indomitable spirit, Charles Kipsang leaves behind a legacy that will be cherished by the sporting community.

Also read: Meet Prof Paul Kimurto, the relative of Kelvin Kiptum, who read his eulogy

Understanding mountain racing

Mountain racing, also known as hill climbing, is a demanding sport that involves running races over rugged, mountainous terrain. These races vary widely in distance, elevation gain, and technical difficulty, depending on the event and location.

Competitions are often held on trails, paths, or other challenging terrain, requiring runners to negotiate steep climbs and descents, rocky surfaces, and uneven terrain. The courses typically traverse mountains, hills, and other elevated landscapes, providing runners with breathtaking scenery and a formidable environment in which to compete.

To excel in mountain running, runners must undergo specialised training to build endurance, strength, agility, and adaptability to different terrain and weather conditions. The right equipment, such as trail running shoes and hydration packs, is essential to meet the demands of the course.

Overall, trail running offers an exciting and physically demanding experience for runners who relish the opportunity to conquer formidable terrain and reach new heights in their athletic endeavours.