A year to celebrate: 25th anniversary of the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon
The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 25th year. For the second year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world with a time of 59:10. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an atmosphere that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
Please allow us to take you on a quick tour of 2015 and how Valencia came to be one of the best events for amateur runners in the world and one of the fastest elite half marathons in history.
The Best half marathon in Spain
The Trinidad Alfonso Half Marathon was awarded the title of best long distance event by the Spanish Royal Athletics Association in 2015. Along with this official recognition, Valencia also smashed the record for organization and sporting achievements. Valencia accumulated a total of 2,870.42 points in all scoring tables. This is the highest ranking any running event has scored in the history of Spain.
Valencia, City of Speed
For the second year running, Abraham Cheroben achieved one of the best times for the half marathon in history. The Valencia Half marathon has become his home, his time of 59:10 is the fastest half marathon of 2015 in the world. The second fastest after Abraham was ran by Karoki Muchiri (59:14) in Copenhagen. Do not be surprised if Abraham takes a few seconds off this in 2016 in Valencia. Valencia is attracting more elite runners every year, the flat course and good weather means that Valencia is a place where world records can be broken; who knows, maybe we will see the world record of 58:23 fall in the next few years in Valencia.
Exponential growth in numbers
12,518 runners took part in the half marathon this year, that is a whopping 19.6% over the 10,460 runners who came to Valencia in 2014. With growing word of mouth and Valencia’s promotional team going to every marathon in Europe, you can expect to see these numbers increase every year.
Women and international runners more present every year
The biggest reason for the increase in total runners is due to non-Spanish runners travelling to Valencia, many of them coming from the North of Europe where the grey skies and cold temperatures do not make for great running conditions! Over 2,000 runners traveled to Valencia to run under the blue skies and perfect running temperatures of 17-20 degrees. The race organizers have made a concerted effort over the last few years to pump up the amount of women running in the race; this year 2,632 women took to the streets to run.
Spain: All roads lead to Valencia
The Valencia Half Marathon has been a reference for excellence in long distance nationally for many years, as the quantity of international runners increases so does the number of runners coming to Valencia from outside of the city. Of the 12,000 runners, 4,000 came from other countries and other cities to have a running holiday in a great city with a world-class race.
25 years in 25 stories
In the 25 days running up to the 25th edition of the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half marathon, the official website published a different story everyday from 25 runners. From the youngest runner to the eldest, from journalists, scientists, young Olympic hopefuls and people with disabilities; the spectrum of the runners represents the inclusivity and friendliness of the race.
25 songs for 25 marathons
Music and running go hand in hand, the rhythms that we listen to and the rhythm of our strides are the heartbeat of our passion. The race organizers held a competition on social media to see which songs runners thought best represented each of the 25 years of the marathon. The winning songs were published as a playlist and played through the sound system on the day of the race.
Valencian Flavor: Fireworks and Fallas
Valencians love fireworks. Many tourists are shocked by the amount of fireworks that go off in the city, especially at the weekends. Fireworks in most countries are reserved for national holidays. Valencians will spend 300-1000 Euros on fireworks to celebrate getting a promotion at work or passing an exam!! For special events in the city, Fallas, institutions and the government will pool their money to put on a massive fireworks display that in most countries you would only see once a year. On the 17th of October Valencia had a superb fireworks display to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon.
Run to support good causes, support running
The Valencia Half marathon has massive support form the locals, institutions and the local government. In the months leading up to the event, huge campaigns are promoted to get citizens involved in the event and to promote healthy lifestyles. Many people volunteer to help organize the race and supporting events, and on race day… well, you have to come and see! Imagine blue skies, thousands of people, many of which are dressed in traditional costumes, music everywhere and streets full of good natured locals singing and cheering on the runners. Valencians do not need much of an excuse to hit the streets, be social and have a good time.
My air, your goal
Every year a good cause is chosen to receive the donations made by the race. This year the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Valencia was the recipient of all the money raised by the race. The slogan, ‘My air, your goal’ is a reference to the breathing problems many people affected by Cystic Fibrosis experience. For every runner that finishes the 21KM, The Trinidad Alfonso Foundation donates 1 Euro to the chosen charity. Over 13,000 Euros were raised this year for the Cystic Fibrosis group. The money will go towards helping sufferers lead fuller lives and take a bit of pressure off the carers that help them
A quarter century of images
As a special celebration for the 25th race, a compendium of images was selected to best represent the history of the race. The images were displayed in the city center on the Paseo Ruzafa. 25 years of history summed up in 25 iconic photos for the citizens of Valencia to enjoy as they pass through this busy Valencia street.
2015 was a massive step up for the half marathon, but it was not a surprise. This success is the fruit of years of hard work and dedication from the organizers of the race and the Valencian people. 2016 will be even bigger and better. We hope to see you there. Happy New Year, and see you in La Ciudad Del Running soon!!