Valencia, an elite half marathon
Valencia’s rise to prominence in the world of running has been a steady journey over the last 25 years. Having been awarded the Bronze Label, Silver Label and last year, the Gold Label. Valencia has consecrated itself as one of the best organized and fastest half marathons in the world. As the race became bigger and more international, it also consolidated itself of the quckest in the world. In 2014, Abraham Cheroben finished the Valencia Half marathon in 58:48 minutes and 59:10 in 2015. Due to its flat course and attractiveness to elite runners, Valencia aims to be even faster in 2016. The flat course also makes it a great place for amateur runners to get a PB.
The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half marathon is the first and only half marathon in Spain to be awarded the IAAF Gold Label. The Gold Label is awarded in recognition of world-class organization, quantity and quality of elite runners, and the services on offer for runners and spectators. The Gold Label puts Valencia in the same group as the other top Half Marathons in the world.
Here we give you a quick tour of the other IAAF Gold Label marathons in the world:
Lisbon is very different to Valencia. Whilst Valencia has an almost 100% flat course, Lisbon has many ups and downs throughout its course. This makes Lisbon a grueling race. The times may be slower than other flatter courses, but the nature of the course makes for a thrilling race with the runners giving everything they have to push up the final climbs. In 2016 the Ethiopian Ruti Aga finished with a time of 1:09:16. Lisbon and Valencia, may have very different courses but they do share one very exclusive trait; Valencia and Lisbon, and Rome y Prague, are the only four cities in the world that have a Gold Label half marathon and full marathon.
The Czechs have a proud running tradition, this is reflected in their 5 half marathon races: Prague, Karlovy Vary, České Budějovice, Olomouc and Ústí nad Labem, all of which are Gold Label races. Thousands of runners flock to the Czech Republic every year to run with Prague being the number one destination. The Prague Half Marathon is well known as a very well organized race that attracts good runners and has good times. On the 2nd of April 2016, The Kenyan Violah Jepchumba got the best time so far this year with a finish of 1:05:51.
The eternal city had the golden age of Rome, it also has a Gold Label for its half marathon. Rome is a great race, it has had some scintillating finishing times; Yego Solomon Kirwa (58:44) and Worknesh Degefa Debele (1:07:08).
Bogota, in Colombia, is the only Half Marathon in South America to have been awarded an IAAF Gold Label. Bogota is a huge race; more than 50,000 runners take part from over 50 countries. The weather impedes finishing the race in under an hour but it is a spectacular race that should be done at least once in every runner’s lifetime.
The only other non-European Gold Label half marathon is Yangzhou in China. The name of the city derives from a famous monk, Jianzhen, who helped found the city and converted the population to the ways of the Buddha. The Yangzhou Half marathon started in 2006 and has grown steadily over the years. Yangzhou is probably the least international race on the list as the majority of its 35,000 runners come from Asia. However, the race is starting to become more international as more runners from around the world look for unique running experiences.
The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon is at home in this group of amazing races. A Gold Label guarantees the quality of the race, great facilities and participation of high level runners. Gold label events give amateur runners the assurance of a great race, and guaranteed thrilling fast times for the spectators. The Valencia Half marathon is an awesome race with great winter weather, blue skies, a flat course, very fast finishing times and a plethora of supporting activities to make sure you have a great race and a fun race weekend. Valencia is becoming very well known as the best half marathon in the world to get a personal best.
La Ciudad del Running recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, we hope to see you at the 26th edition in 2016. Go here for more information and to book your place for October 2016 go to: Race info and Registrations,