Will another half marathon world record fall this weekend?
Because the field of participants in the Valencia Half Marathon is geared towards new record times. The multiple world record holder Letesenbet Gidey makes her debut over the half marathon distance. Also at the start will be the "unofficial" half marathon world record holder Yalemzerf Yehualaw.
Attack on the world record triple
For Letesenbet Gidey, it could be the world record triple within 13 months. In October 2020, she managed to set the first world record in Valencia with 14:06.62 minutes over the 5,000 meters, followed by the next global record in June this year over the 10,000-meter distance with an incredible 29:01.03 minutes. After Gidey only competed in the 10,000 meters at the Olympic Games, where she was somewhat disappointing in third place, the next high is now to follow in Valencia.
Curiosity surrounding half marathon world record time
Curiously, it is still not clear what time Letesenbet Gidey will have to achieve for a possible half marathon world record. For it was only in August that her compatriot Yalemzerf Yehualaw ran the first women's half marathon time under 1:04 hours at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon in Ireland with 1:03:44 hours. But this performance was apparently not recorded in the record books due to errors in course measurement. Thus, as things stand, Ruth Chepngetich is the world record holder with a time of 1:04:02 hours. The Chicago Marathon winner ran that record time at the Istanbul Half Marathon on April 4.
2nd chance at world record
Fortunately, Yalemzerf Yehualaw has also committed to the Valencia Half Marathon, giving her a second chance to break the half marathon world record. Along with Letesenbet Gidey, she is naturally considered the great favorite in the port city of Spain. On the other hand, the third top runner from Ethiopia, Genzebe Dibaba, cancelled at short notice.
Record potential also in the men's race
Great times are also expected in the men's race in Valencia. Last year at the Valencia Half Marathon, Rhonex Kipruto was one of four runners to run a time under 58 minutes over the half marathon distance for the first time. However, Kipruto only finished in third place at that time with 57:49 minutes. Now he has another chance to set his second world road running record. Because over the 10 kilometers, the 22-year-old from Kenya already holds the world record with 26:24 minutes - also set in Valencia. The half marathon world record stands at 57:32 minutes.
But the competition behind Kipruto is also strong. Another quartet of four runners hold best times under 59 minutes, all athletes from Kenya. The most dangerous rival for Kipruto could be Philemon Kiplimo, who is positioned 6th in the perpetual world best list with 58:11 minutes.
Also competing is former European half marathon record holder Sondre Nordstad Moen. The 30-year-old ran a time of 59:48 minutes in Valencia in 2017. But the best European could be local hero Carlos Mayo, who impressed in Valencia last year with 60:06 minutes.
The 30th edition of the Valencia Half Marathon will feature 12,000 athletes. This year the race will be run on a slightly different course.