Evans Chebet wins VM in 2:03:00, photo by Valencia Marathon
Peres Jepchirchir takes VM in 2:17.15, photo by Valencia Marathon
Justin Lagat sent us this piece on the big day in Valencia, Spain n Dec. 6!
Today must have been the most exciting weekend of long-distance running in 2020!
There were incredible performances in all the four distances that happened at the 40th edition of the Valencia Marathon. All the events registered new course records.
The most exciting race of the day was the men’s half marathon distance in which four runners broke the old world half marathon record of 58:01 that was set by Geoffrey Kamworor on the 15th of September in Denmark.
The world record was already in sight within the first 5km as a huge pack went through the first 5km point in 13:37. They crossed the 10km point at 27:25 with a projected time of well under 58 minutes. Then they just missed the 15km world record crossing the distance at 41:10.
By the 16km point, a new world half marathon record was as good as set, we only still needed to know the name of the athlete who was going to set it. Kipruto, Kiplimo and Kandie were beginning to break away at the front as they kept pushing the pace hard.
Kipruto was the first to lose some ground as Kandie continued to push the hard pace at the front. Then, at around the 20km point, Kandie allowed Kiplimo to take up the pacing duty for a while. In the end, it would appear as though it was a plan to monitor him so that he would not surprise him in a sprint finish. It was not just a win on the line, there was a world record to go with it as well. The plan worked for Kandie as Kiplimo had little strength left in him to challenge his last surge for the finish tape.
Kandie crossed the finish line in an astonishing time of 57:32. Kiplimo followed in 57:37 ahead of Kipruto coming in for a third place in 57:49. Little-known Alexander Mutiso surprised many with a fourth finish in 57:59, also going under the old world record time.
In the women’s race, Genzebe Dibaba executed one amazing debut as she won the race in a new course record of 65:18.
The full marathon distances were also thrilling to watch. The men’s race had a close finish between Lawrence Cherono and Evans Chebet. Chebet outsprinted Cherono in the last few hundred meters to win it in a new course record of 2:03:00 against 2:03:04.
Peres Jepchirchir managed to get a comfortable lead in the women’s race and continued to open the gap in the last kilometers of the race to win it in a new course record of 2:17:16. Joyciline Jepkosgei followed to take second place in 2:18:54.
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