Valencia city is known for its ultra-modern city of Arts and sciences, but of late the city is synonymous with athletics world records. 10km (road) and 10,000m ( track) world records were broken in Valencia, so to 5,000m women world record.
Thanks to Juan Roig an entrepreneur under Trinidad Alfonso Foundation which has been playing an immense role in sponsoring major athletics events in the city.
On 6th December, Creme de la creme will assemble to chase glory in the Valencia marathon, which includes a half marathon for both elites men and women. The organizers of the event, Valencia city council, and SD Correcaminos have the ambition to achieve the best times and possibly to lower course records.
Birhanu Legese of Ethiopia and Lawrence Cherono of Kenya are the main protagonists in the stellar line-up. With a personal best of 2:02:48, Legese is the third-fastest marathoner of all time after Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele. Whereas Cherono is the past winner of Chicago and Boston marathons. He achieved his personal best of 2:04:06 in the Amsterdam marathon back in 2018.
Other formidable forces include Kinde Atanaw of Ethiopia, the defending champion and course record holder in a time of 2:03:51, World marathon champion Lelisa Desisa, European marathon record holder Kaan Kigen Ozbelen and Amos Kipruto of Kenya. Among the debutant is Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia.
Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya will be spearheading the women marathon. In her marathon debut, she stormed the New York marathon last year with not only a victory of 2:22:38 but also the second-fastest time since 2001 when Margaret Okayo broke the course record (2:22:31).
Others burning the midnight oil for showdown include Azmera Abreha ETH 2:28:33, Ruti Aga ETH 2:18:34, Birhane Dibaba ETH 2:18:35, and Jordan Hasay US 2:20:57. Debutant Fancy Chemutai of Kenya and Peres Jepchirchir who hold half marathon only women - world record.
But if there is one race that is raising adrenaline is the men's half marathon. Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya who holds a 10km world record (26:24) remains the top favorite despite his debut. It's even mind-boggling when you had the mix of Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda who recently won the half marathon championship in a massive personal best of 58:48.
Joining the duo with sub 60minutes includes Kibiwot Kandie KEN 58:37, Stephen Kiprop KEN 58:42, Bedan Karoki KEN 58:42, Benard Ngeno 59:07, Julien Wanders SWISS 59:13, Philemon Kiplimo KEN 59:28, Gabriel Geay ETH 59:42, Alfred Barkach KEN 59:46, and Kelvin Kiptum KEN 59:53.
Fresh from obliterating 5000m in Valencia Letensenbet Gidey of Ethiopia will be trying to break the half-marathon world record. Gidey also holds the 15km world record in a time of 44:20. Sheila Chepkurui of Kenya and Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia are other notable characters.
Amid the covid 19 pandemics, the organizers of the race will take meticulous precautions in observing safety measures that guarantee a great sporting event with minimal health risk. Other races that were held successfully this year despite the pandemic are the Virgin London Marathon and the Prague half marathon.