Kenyan Runner Loses Feet to Frostbite

Marko Cheseto went missing in Alaska snowstorm

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 22, 2011 1:00 AM CST | Updated Nov 22, 2011 2:00 AM CST

(Newser) – A top college runner at the University of Alaska in Anchorage has lost both his feet to amputation after severe frostbite. Marko Cheseto, 28, disappeared in a snowstorm earlier this month wearing only jeans, running shoes and a light jacket. He was found outside a hotel two days later with hypothermia and extreme frostbite. University police said the Kenyan disappeared because of a "personal crisis," the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Cheseto, a two-time NCAA All-American runner, had reportedly been depressed over the suicide of a friend and teammate who came from the same village. In a statement, he thanked those who searched for him and promised to do his best to give back to the community. The university's athletic director says Cheseto, a nursing major, plans to continue his studies and may even run again someday. "There's some miraculous things in this day and age," he says. "We'll just have to see what the future holds."

University of Alaska student Marko Cheseto vanished wearing running shoes, jeans and a light jacket.
University of Alaska student Marko Cheseto vanished wearing running shoes, jeans and a light jacket.   (AP Photo/University of Alaska Anchorage)
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