Susan Sirma on Legend Ben Jipcho’s death and the need for Kenyan veteran runners to come together

Susan Sirma, the first Kenyan woman to win a medal at the world stage

Once you win medals for the country and celebrations are over, you are on your own. This is the harsh reality that hit most of the Kenyan veteran runners as Ben Jipcho was laid to rest at his home village of Kasawai, in Trans Nzoia County this Friday the 31st of July after passing on on 24th of July at a hospital in Eldoret due to a long illness.

After flying the Kenyan flag high and delivering different Olympic, All-Africa Games and Commonwealth medals for the country in the late 1960s to early 1970s, Jipcho retired from running and little is mentioned of his life after that. It was only until his demise that his name and the great contributions he had made to the Kenyan legacy in running came up again. If there is one thing that Kenyan is known for, it is definitely for its runners and Jipcho was part of the pioneer runners that started the trend.

However, some of his fellow veteran athletes who were close to him during his last days in hospital, and tried to assist with the little they had as his family struggled to meet the growing hospital bills shared their concerns about such a big star that had brought a lot of glory to the Kenyan nation having to struggle on his own to access medication.