VALENCIA HALF MARATHON 2020
This Sunday sees some of the finest athletes in the world descend on Valencia for the full Valencia marathon. Valencia has, in recent times, seen some of the quickest times in the history of our sport, including Joshua Cheptegei’s 10,000m world record earlier this year.
However, our attention will be firmly on a different race, featuring one the most exciting talents in athletics, Jacob Kiplimo, who will be running in the Valencia Half Marathon.
The Half Marathon field sees a stellar cast of some of the world’s finest athletes over the 13.1 mile distance. Most thrilling of all, is likely to be the head to head between Kiplimo, of Uganda and Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya; the former achieving gold at the World Half Marathon Championships in an awe-inspiring 58:47 and the latter taking the silver, not too far behind.
Nobody quite knows, yet, just how good Kiplimo can be, at 20 years old, but having run 7:47 over 3k this year too and with him lining up over the 10,000m in the Olympics next year in Tokyo, he is perhaps emerging as the dominant force of long-distance running for the next decade. Anyone seeking to topple him Valencia is going to have to be on their A-game.
One of those who might have a chance is 21-year old, Kenyan sensation, Rhonex Kipruto who makes his half-marathon debut. He comes with first-class form and pedigree, having smashed the 10k road world record, running 26:24 (most notably running it in the Adidas Takumi Sens), on his last trip to Valencia in January 2020. Only Joshua Cheptegei, Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebreselassie have ever ran 10,000m faster, on any surface. He’s a talent to be reckoned with.
The big question is whether they can break Geoffrey Kamworor’s 58:01 world record set last year.
Just as captivating, is the women’s race, which is able to boast an equally world-class field. Newly crowned, 5000m world record holder, Letesenbet Gidey, of Ethiopia will run in her first half marathon, as will the current 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba.
It is in the women’s race that the world record is most vulnerable, however. Gidey, for example, a incredible talent, is generally regarded as being most suited to the longer distances. You only have to look at her 15k world record last year, of 44:20, to know just how good she could be over the longer distances. Her final 10k of that race was ran in 29:13, yes, that is not a typo.
However, she’ll be running against her compatriot Senbere Teferi who last year smashed the Ethiopian national record twice over the half marathon. She’s unlikely to be easy-pickings for Gidey, even she is, undoubtedly, the favourite.
When to watch?
The half marathon starts at 0700 UK time
How to watch the VALENCIA HALF MARATHON 2020
The race will be streamed on the organiser’s website and you can watch it here:
Full race list
|M Ali Jellou||ESP||63:38|
|A Sanchez Pinilla||ESP||63:39|
|E G Grimau||ESP||73:36|
|M A Ruiz||ESP||79:44|
|M J P Moreno||ESP||Debut|