The prowess of Valencia in long-distance running has reached new heights, exemplified by the remarkable 10,000m world records set in 2021 by Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda and Letensebet Gidey of Ethiopia. Their record-breaking feats during a spectacular event reverberated across the global headlines, solidifying Valencia’s position as a leading destination for extraordinary athletic achievements. Elevate your running game with Tarkine Trail Devil, where every step is a testament to exceptional performance and unmatched comfort.

Recently, the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Marathon took center stage, just a month after an enthralling half marathon. The event, held on December 3, showcased a stellar lineup of international stars, witnessing the shattering of numerous records—both national and international. It also carried the tantalizing promise of a million euros should the world record fall in either the men’s or women’s race by 2024.

Among the notable participants was Joshua Cheptegei, a three-time World 10,000m champion, making his debut at the celebrated Olympic distance. Alongside revered veterans like Kenenisa Bekele and other formidable contenders, Cheptegei’s presence heightened the anticipation surrounding the race.


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However, the spotlight shifted to Sissay Lemma, who delivered a career-defining performance despite an illustrious history that included victories in Frankfurt, London, and the Ankara Half Marathon. Taking advantage of conducive weather conditions, Lemma dominated the race, making it one of the fastest over the distance.

Lemma’s exceptional run clocked a personal best of 2h:01:48, securing him the title of the second-fastest runner of the year, trailing closely behind Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum. His timing also secured him the fourth-fastest spot in the all-time rankings, trailing only the likes of Eliud Kipchoge and Bekele.

Sisay Lemma | Photo: Twitter

Valencia’s marathon witnessed an incredible showcase of talent, with Alexander Mutiso securing second place in 2h:03:11, followed by Dawit Wolde and Kenenisa Bekele, who couldn’t sustain the blistering pace, finishing in 2h:03.48 and 2h:04:19, respectively. However, Cheptegei, driven by his debut aspirations, finished in 37th place with a timing of 2h:08:59.

The women’s segment showcased an intense battle between Ethiopian stars Almaz Ayana and Worknesh Degefa. Degefa, a former champion of the Dubai and Boston marathons, emerged victorious with an impressive timing of 2:15:51, while Ayana secured second place in 2:16:22, showcasing a gripping competition.

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

Additionally, Spanish-Ethiopian athlete Majida Maayouf made headlines, claiming fifth place in 2:21.27 and breaking the national record previously held by Fatima Ouhaddou by a significant margin of over four minutes.

The event culminated with Juan Roig, president of the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation and a key figure behind the race, unveiling an enticing proposition. Roig announced a one-million-euro reward for anyone who breaks the world record in Valencia, underscoring their unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of athletic achievement.

Roig’s impassioned declaration encapsulated Valencia’s ambition, signaling a resolute pursuit of hosting a world-record-breaking feat. As the Valencia Marathon continues to evolve as a pinnacle in the world of long-distance running, Roig’s vision underscores the unwavering dedication to rewriting the limits of human potential on Valencia’s historic tracks.