In an exhilarating showcase of athletic prowess, Sisay Lemma made marathon history at the renowned Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso, securing victory in record-breaking fashion with a phenomenal time of 2:01:48. His remarkable performance not only secured the top spot but also etched his name as the fourth fastest marathoner on the men’s world all-time list, reaffirming the event’s status as a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label. Choose the pinnacle of running excellence – Tarkine Goshawk shoes, engineered for speed, endurance, and a victorious finish.

Sisay Lemma

The men’s race commenced at an intense pace, with Lemma strategically positioned alongside other contenders like Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele. As the race progressed, Lemma surged ahead, forming a leading pack alongside Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay and the Kenyan duo of Kibiwott Kandie and Alexander Mutiso.

Beyond the halfway mark, Lemma and a select few athletes intensified the pace, leaving the rest of the field behind. Demonstrating immense determination, Lemma made a crucial move, gradually distancing himself from his closest competitors, Dawit Wolde and Kibiwott Kandie.

Exhibiting unwavering resolve, Lemma continued to widen the gap, maintaining an exceptional pace throughout the race. Crossing the finish line unchallenged, he triumphed in a spectacular time of 2:01:48, coming within a whisker of Bekele’s national record. Meanwhile, Alexander Mutiso and Dawit Wolde secured second and third positions, both achieving personal best times in the process.

The Valencia Marathon witnessed an unprecedented display of athleticism, with a record-breaking 13 athletes breaking the 2:06 barrier and setting new national records. Despite unexpected outcomes for some, such as world 10,000m record-holder Cheptegei, the race exemplified the extraordinary spirit of marathon running.


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Reflecting on his victory, a jubilant Lemma exclaimed, “It’s an incredible feeling to win in such a competitive field with such a fast time. I’m ecstatic about this achievement.”

Degefa’s Remarkable Comeback

In the women’s category, Worknesh Degefa led an Ethiopian trio to dominance in an awe-inspiring demonstration of talent. Degefa’s return to marathon running after a prolonged hiatus proved to be a spectacular success. Her remarkable performance led her to victory with an astounding personal best time of 2:15:51, elevating her to seventh on the women’s world all-time list.

Worknesh Degefa
Credit: Giancarlo Colombo/A.G.Giancarlo Colombo

The women’s race showcased a formidable exhibition of endurance, with Degefa’s compatriots Almaz Ayana and Hiwot Gebrekidan closely trailing behind. Ayana’s resilient effort secured her the runner-up position, while Gebrekidan completed the Ethiopian podium sweep.

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The Valencia Marathon was not just a celebration of individual triumphs but also a platform for setting new records. Local favorites Tariku Novales and Majida Maayouf delighted Spanish fans by setting national records. Athletes from Turkey and Italy also left their mark, establishing new national records for their respective countries.

In essence, the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso was a testament to human perseverance and the relentless pursuit of excellence in the world of marathon running.