Valencia Marathon celebrates its new Gold Label setting a new women’s record in Spain
The 36th Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon, organized by SD Correcaminos and the Valencia City Government, has become the fastest national race in female category and it is also the first race in Spain to be awarded IAAF Gold Label. Valary Jemeli Aiyabei has achieved the best time with 2:24:49, and she has beaten her last personal best (2:26:57) by more than two minutes. Nancy Jespkosgei Kiprop has come in second with 2:25:13 and Bethelem Moges Cherenet has also mounted the podium with 2:26:11.
As for men, Victor Kipchirchir has become the winner of the 36th Valencia Marathon with a time of 2:07:38, which is more than a minute above the course record (2:06:13). However, he has achieved a personal best reducing his last mark by more than two minutes. Gilbert Kollum Yegon has come in second crossing the finish line in 2:08:04, Peter Cheruiyot Kirui has come in third with 2:08:12 and completed a full Kenyan podium.
When runners were at kilometre 30, it seemed like a new record would be set this year since there was only a 48 second difference with the last year’s record (1h29:13). In fact, at that time Yegon and Kirui, who were not even among the favourite runners, were competing in the in the forefront of the race as the favourite ones had started off too fast and then slowed down. Surprisingly, Kipchirchir regained his strength at kilometre 40. His pace, however, was 51 seconds above the best mark, mainly due to the wind, which was crucial in the second part of the race. For that reason, John Mwangangi still holds the best mark with the 2:06:13 he achieved in Valencia in 2015.
Rivalry over the female podium has not been so fierce: Valary Jemeli Aiyabei was already running alone in the forefront of the race when she crossed the half marathon milestone (21 kilometres) and at no point did any runner even come close to her. Nancy Jepkosgei Kiprop has been following the winner almost throughout the entire race, but she has never represented a threat to her victory. As the winner approached the finish line, it was clear that she was going to beat the last record and she was even expected to achieve a time of around 2:22:00. Both Nancy Jepkosgei Kiprop (2:25.13), who has come in second, and Moges Cherenet (2h26:11), who has come in third, have also broken the previous course record (2h26:57).
Regarding national elite runners, Rafa Iglesias has been the first Spanish male runner to cross the finish line with a time of 2:16:18, and Marta Esteban was the first Spanish female runner to do it with 2:30:47. Today she has achieved her personal best and thanks to that she has won the Regional Marathon Championship, which has taken place in this race. Hassan Ahouchar has been the male winner of the regional championship with 2:11:02.
The fact that 23 men have improved their personal best under 2h20:00, 59 other men under 2h30 and more than 1,100 under 3 hours, proves that Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon is a top-level race with as many runners as other main international races. As for women, 18 of them have improved their personal best under 2h50:00 and 30 of them under 3 hours.
Paco Borao, president of SD Correcaminos: ‘We have experienced a twofold marathon both in men and women: it has been a different race from kilometre 30 onwards. The goal was to beat men’s record, but runners have faced their worst enemy in the second half, which is the wind. So, even if they had kept a very good pace in the first half, they haven’t been able to keep up in the second one. In any case, it has been an excellent and fair edition. We would like to thank all participants for their good manners and discipline since they have made possible a very efficient three-group start.’
Victor Kipchirchir: ‘I would like to thank everyone who has given me the opportunity to run in Valencia. The city has a beautiful race course and I have been warmly welcomed by its people.’
Valary Jemeli Aiyabei: ‘I would like to thank my sponsors, the race organizers and the city itself since they have given me the chance to beat this record. I have given my best.’
The City of Running honours its name
This year again, all citizens have shown their commitment to the Valencia Marathon and its parallel 10K and they have been supporting and cheering on almost 30,000 runners who have taken part in both races. There have been 190 cheering stations placed all along the race course and special mention must be made to the fallas associations, which have dressed up, made choreographies and signs as part of the initiative Running Fallero.
Excellence has been ratified
The first edition of the Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon to be awarded the IAAF Gold Label and the only long-distance race which has received this award in Spain is over now and it has been a great success. Despite the wind, the experience has proved that the new race course, which is barely steep, has made it easier and more comfortable for runners. Besides, the participation of the 42,195 metre race has increased by 14 % with more than 19,000 registered runners in this year’s edition.
Trinidad Alfonso Valencia 10K
This year again, the Valencia 10K has been the preamble of the marathon and shared the start line with it, both ending in the blue walkway. The 8,500 bib numbers available for this short-distance race sold out again a month before it took place, which shows that the 10,000 metre race has also become a not-to-miss event for every runner.
Joseph Kiprono Kiptum has won the 2016 edition crossing the finish line in 28:49. This way, he has broken the course record, which was already under 30 minutes (29:00 to be precise). Titus Kipjumba Mbishei with 28:56 and Alejandro Codesal Martin with 30:45 have completed the podium.
As for women, Salima Charki has won the 10,000 metre race with 33:53, which is 9 seconds above the 2015 winner, Vitalyne Bikii with 33:44. The other female runners who have mounted the podium have been Paula González Berodia with 34:08 and Laura Mendez Esquer (34:17).