Wesley Ngetich is dead. He was killed with an arrow during fighting in his home region of Trans Mara in western Kenya, a region of the country embroiled in the post-election violence plaguing this country.
The 31-year-old champion marathoner made his mark in races around the world, including winning Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, in 2005 and 2007 – a world away from his African hometown.
Most recently, Ngetich was planning on running the PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, but withdrew from the race with about a dozen other Kenyan runners because of the strife in his home country.
Scott Keenan, executive director of Grandma’s Marathon expressed shock upon learning of Ngetich’s death. “The city of Duluth kind of adopted him, and he kind of adopted the city of Duluth, and we were expecting him to return and defend his title.”
This story reminds us of how small the world can be and how the politics of distant nations can hit home. Ngetich’s death is a somber reminder that no matter how fast you are, sometimes the outside world catches up.
The Prerace Jitters staff sends our heart felt condolences to the family of Wesley Ngetich.
By Jay Hicks, a.k.a Track Evagelist