The Valencia Marathon presents its best bevy of elite runners in its quest to become one of the World’s Top 5 fastest circuits

18 November, 2019

The Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP 2019 will feature a bevy of elite athletes never seen before in a Spanish race. The aim is to put the Valencia Marathon among the world’s Top 5 fastest circuits. To achieve this, a minute needs to be shaved off the Men’s current world record of 2 hours 04:31, which will once more make the race the fastest 42.195 km race in Spain.

To achieve this, there are three key male contenders: the man who set the circuit record in 2018, the Ethiopian athlete Leul Gebresilase (2 hours 04:02) and Herpesa Negasa (2 hours 03:40). The time set by Molla in Dubai in January established that marathon as the world’s third fastest circuit. One should also keep an eye on the Kenyan runner Emmanuel Saina (2 hours 05:02), who in seven months between 2018 and April 2019 ran the distance in under 2 hours 06:00 on no fewer than three occasions. Furthermore, the line-up features twelve runners with times of under 2 hours 06:00, and 22 runners with times of under 2 hours 10, including Tsegaye Kebede (2 hours 04:38), Norbert Kigen (2 hours 05:13), and Felix Kiprotich (2 hours 05:33).

Among them will be the Kenyan runner Gideon Kipketer (2:05:51), an athlete who regularly runs in under 2 hours 06, and who was the pace-setter for Geoffrey Kamworor in Copenhagen in the INEOS 1 hour 59 Challenge; and the Eritrean Ghirmay Gebreselassie, winner in the marathon world championship, and who came first in the New York Marathon in 2016.

The duel for the European Marathon Record between the Turk Kaan Kigen Ozbilen (2:05:27) (who is just 16 seconds off the record time) and the Norwegian Sondre Moen (2:05:48) (just 37 seconds short of the mark) promises to be especially thrilling. Moen knows the circuit well given that he has run in earlier editions of the Valencia Half-Marathon.

Five women under the trial record time

In the women’s category, the aim is to beat the current trial record (2 hours 21:14). Here, there are five women who have all racked up faster times. Top of the list is the four-times winner of the world championship, and current Olympic champion in the 5000 metres race, the Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot (2 hours 18:31), the athlete with the best sports curriculum of all those taking part — men and women. However, she will have a tough race on her hands as she faces three powerful Ethiopian athletes: Dereje Roza (2 hours 19:17); Birhane Dibaba (2 hours 19:51), recent winner of the Copenhagen Half-Marathon, twice winner of the Tokyo Marathon, and who won first place in 2012 when she was just 19 ; the young debutante Zeineba Yimer (1 hour 05:46 this year in the half-marathon), fifth in the World Half-Marathon Valencia 2018.

The two other runners who have set times of under 2 hours 21 are the Kenyan athletes Prisca Jeptoo (2 hours 20:14) and Purity Rionoripo (2 hours 20:55). They will be accompanied by four women with times of under 2 hours 22:00, among them the Ethiopian runner Workenesh Edesa (2 hours 21:05), who is currently in great form. There are a further 15 women with times of under 2 hours 28:00.

Cheptegei, chasing the 10-km World Record

The very last 10-km Valencia Trinidad Alfonso promises to be a thrilling one, with Ugandan athlete Joshua Cheptegei looking to set a new World Record, which is currently held by the Kenyan runner Leonard Patrick Komon (26:44).

Cheptegei is a member of the NN Running Team, the world’s first professional athletics team. This year, he has racked up no fewer than three major achievements: World Cross-Country champion (March); Diamond League champion in the 5,000 metres (August); winner of the World 10,000-metre Championship in Doha (where he took the crown from Mo Farah, who had won the trial over the previous last three years).

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