Last year, the Valencia Half Marathon was the scene of the fastest half marathon race ever.
At that time, the half marathon was held as an elite race in early December as part of the Marahton race. Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie ran a new half marathon world record with a pace of 2:44 minutes per kilometer.
Now, on October 24, 2021, the Valencia Half Marathon (Medio Maraton Valencia) could once again take place as an open race with thousands of amateur runners. However, world-class runners were also the focus in 2021.
Review of the historic half marathon last year
It was a historic day when last year, on December 6, at the elite edition of the Valencia Half Marathon, no less than four athletes stayed under 58 minutes. Never before had even one runner managed a half marathon time under 58 minutes. In one fell swoop, there were suddenly four of them. Three runners from Kenya and one from Uganda covered the 21.1 kilometers in times between 57:32 minutes and 57:59 minutes.
The big hero was Kibiwott Kandie, who set a new half marathon world record of 57:32 minutes. Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda followed just five seconds behind, ahead of Rhonex Kipruto (57:48 minutes) and Alexander Mutiso (57:58 minutes). The winner's impressive pace: 2:44 minutes per kilometer. And he did it more than 21 times in a row.
The elite field
Also this year the field at the top had the potential to attack the world records of 57:32 minutes and 63:43 minutes. For example, Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto, third last year with 57:48 minutes, was back at the start. Two-time 5,000-meter world champion Muktar Edris (Ethiopia) was also entered. In total, six runners entered with a best time under 59 minutes.
Ethiopians in the hunt for world records
In the women's race, last year's winner Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) with a personal best of 65:18 minutes would have been one of the stars, but she cancelled at short notice. Top favorite was therefore her compatriot Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who set a new "unofficial" half marathon world record" with 1:03:43 hours in Larne at the end of August (this was subsequently annulled because the course was not correctly measured). Another Ethiopian, Letesenbet Gidey, was a hot outsider. After all, she holds the current world records for 5,000 and 10,000 meters and now wanted to tackle another world record on her half marathon debut.
World recor: First half marathon under 63 minutes
Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey smashed the world record* at the Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP, clocking 1:02:52 on her debut at the distance at the World Athletics Elite Label road race on Sunday (24). Competing in the same Spanish city where she broke the world 5000m record last year, Gidey took more than a minute off the previous mark of 1:04:02 set by world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich earlier this year.
Paced by Mebrahtu Kiros, Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist Gidey went through 5km in a swift 15:00 with her compatriot Yalemzerf Yehualaw running five metres down. Yehualaw, whose recent 1:03:44 clocking in Larne could not be ratified as a world record due to the course being too short, drifted further back over the next few kilometres as Gidey reached 10km in 29:45 – the third-fastest clocking in history for the distance and just seven seconds shy of the world record set just a few weeks ago by Kalkidan Gezahegne.
Gidey maintained her incredible pace and covered the next 5km segment in 14:44, bringing her to 15km in 44:29 and putting her more than a minute inside world record schedule. Although her pace dropped very slightly in the last quarter of the race, she had done more than enough to ensure victory in a world record time.
She crossed the line in 1:02:52, adding a third world record to her name to go alongside the marks she owns for 5000m (14:06.62) and 10,000m (29:01.03). In total, she received prize money of 105,000 euros for her performance (35,000 euros victory + 70,000 euros world record).
Exciting race for the men
In the men’s race, a resurgent Abel Kipchumba overtook fellow Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto in the closing stages to win in 58:07, moving him to sixth on the world all-time list and improving on his own world-leading mark from Herzogenaurach last month.
Kipruto was second in 58:09 and Daniel Mateiko third in 58:26. In a race of unprecedented depth, the top seven men finished inside 59 minutes.
German record by Amanal Petros
Amanal Petros also had great reason to celebrate. He improved the 28-year-old German half marathon record by 25 seconds to 60:09 minutes. Petros now holds the national marathon record (2:07:18 hours) and the national half marathon record. The previous half marathon record was held by Carsten Eich with 60:34 minutes.
Results Valencia Half Marathon 2021 - Men
|19||Ben Daoud Hamid||01:01:05|
|26||Barrios Juan Luis||01:02:33|
|30||De Bock Thomas||01:03:25|
|31||Jimenez Vicente Alejandro||01:03:27|
|34||De Leon Francisco Javier||01:03:49|
|36||Olmos Jesus Angel||01:04:20|
|39||Gimenez Jose Ignacio||01:04:49|
|41||Hernandez Illán Ivan||01:05:01|
|43||Serrano Garcia De Dionisio Francisco||01:05:18|
|44||De Backer Manuel||01:05:20|
|45||Agustin Escriche Luis||01:05:30|
|46||Gonzalez Quilez Alberto||01:05:31|
|47||Cabrera Galindo Francisco||01:05:34|
|50||Cuadrillero Barranco Juan Antonio||01:06:17|
Results Valencia Half-Marathon 2021 - Women
|16||De Cock Florence||01:12:55|
|18||Dos Santos Valdilene||01:13:41|
|19||Velez Maria I||01:13:56|
|21||Luengo Caselles Laura||01:14:15|
|22||Giurcanu Mihartescu Cristina||01:15:10|
|24||Silvestre Soriano Elena||01:16:03|
|25||Cano Lopez-Fraile Maria Jose||01:16:36|
|26||Ruiz Maria Angeles||01:17:16|
|27||Rubio Sanchez Pilar||01:18:03|
|31||Castellano Barba Laura||01:20:01|
|32||Gonzalez Rodriguez Carlota||01:20:50|
|34||Sarrión Esteve Silvia M||01:21:08|
|36||Polanco Canton Cristina||01:21:19|
|37||Carbo Segrelles Marta||01:21:42|
|38||Garcia Perez Joana||01:22:01|
|40||Amaro Reyes Carmen||01:23:13|
|42||Simao Vale Sheila||01:23:19|
|43||Gomez Gonzalez Ana||01:23:36|
|44||Alberola Català María Lucía||01:24:24|
|45||Pueyo Puyuelo Elena||01:24:38|
|46||Fuentes Albero Elia||01:24:48|
|47||Renzzo De Godoi Graziella||01:25:44|
|48||Díaz Quintero Carmen||01:25:54|
|49||Pérez Gómez Sara||01:26:02|
|50||Mañes Jiménez Yolanda||01:26:05|