Sad story out of Alaska…Kenyan runner Marko Cheseto, who attends thhe University of Alaska Anchorage and is on the track team, went missing for two days earlier this month during a snowstorm. Following his 48 hour ordeal, he walked into a motel near the campus with severe frostbite on his hands and feet and suffering from hypothermia. Unfortunately, the frostbite was so severe on his feet that he had to have them amputated just above the ankles.
Cheseto reportedly was said to have been depressed following the suicide in February of UAA track teammate and good friend William Ritekwiang, who is also from his hometown of Kapenguria. Cheseto, Ritekwiang and other Kenyan athletes on the team have helped make UAA a force to be reckoned with. They are the NCAA Division II western regional champions, with several of the Kenyan runners winning at the NCAA Division II national championships this past weekend.
On November 6th, Cheseto left the campus during a heavy snow storm. When he did not return, a search was made in the areas that encompasses the university. He was not properly dressed, reportedly only wearing jeans and a lightweight jacket. A manager at the hotel where Cheseto ended up said that paramedics couldn’t remove his shoes because they were frozen to his feet.
The 28-year-old Cheseto said:
“As some may know, I’ve been going through a lot of personal issues. While I am still recovering, both physically and emotionally, I will do my very best to give back to the community that has helped me so much and to my home country, Kenya. I sincerely apologize for any problems that I may have caused.”
Of Cheseto’s future in running, he remains optimistic. “There’s some miraculous things in this day and age. We’ll just have to see what the future holds.” He faces a long road ahead of him, rehabilitation wise, and will remain in the hospital for several more days.
Here’s to a speedy recovery! Get well soon!