The Valencia Marathon took place on December 1 and we are still speaking about it. The fast race, the ER and the exciting 10k WR by Joshua Cheptegai all caught our interest. Joshua Cheptegai ended his year in an amazing way with his 26:38. Thanks to Justin Lagat on this one.
A world record, two course records, and a European record fall at the 2019 Valencia Marathon!
Just 3 minutes into the 10km race that had started off at the same time with the Valencia Marathon race, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei exhibited a strong determination to break the 10K world record. He even momentarily stepped ahead of the pacesetters appearing to be a little bit uncomfortable with the first kilometer split of 2:42.
Slower pacesetters were not going to change his plan and destiny. Out of the three pacemakers, he was remaining with just one of them at the 4km point. He was flying alone at the 5km point in which he crossed it in 13:24. And, even without the help of the pacesetters, Cheptegei ran the second half of the race even faster than the 5km world record by 8 seconds, crossing it in 13:14 (the 5km world record is 13:22, held by Kenya’s Robert Keter).
Cheptegei’s winning time of 26:38 (unofficial) was six seconds faster than the former world record held by Kenya’s Leornard Komon of 26:44.
As though it was a confirmation of the ideal weather conditions to run fast times in Valencia at this time of the year, course records also fell in the men’s and women’s marathon races.
With about three kilometers to go in the men’s race, Kinde Atanaw Alayew of Ethiopia used a 2:46/km split to begin opening up a gap on Ozbilen Kigen and Guye Adola in the leading pack. Of the three runners who had remained together up to the 38km point, Kinde had been the one who had appeared calm and patient almost throughout the race while Ozbilen had at times appeared eager to break away; it would later appear that perhaps he had the European marathon record in his mind.
Alayew set a new course record of 2:03:52 to win the race ahead of Ozbilen Kigen who came second in a new European record of 2:04:16, breaking the 2:05:11 held by Mo Farah. Adola took third in 2:04:46.
Roza Dereje Bekele also set a new course record of 2:18:31 in the women’s race in a close finish ahead of Azmera Gdey and Birhane Dibaba in 2:18:34 and 2:18:47 respectively.
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