Sisay Lemma Takes Down Course Record At Valencia Marathon

Previous course record was held by current world record holder Kelvin Kiptum

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The 2023 Valencia Marathon, known for being notoriously fast and flat, set the stage for a thrilling race with the potential to see a number of records come down. Athletes from around the world gathered to compete in one of the most renowned marathons, and the results did not disappoint. 

Eight national records were at risk of being broken, alongside both the men’s and women’s course records.

Sisay Lemma Takes Down Course Record At Valencia Marathon 1
Photo Credit: Erik van Leeuwen

Men’s Results

The men’s category of the 2023 Valencia Marathon witnessed an intense battle among the elite runners, with each participant vying for the course record.

In a stunning display of speed and endurance, Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma claimed victory, crossing the finish line with a personal best time of 2:01:48

Alexander Mutison of Kenya and Dawit Wolde of Ethiopia followed behind Lemma, securing their places on the podium with remarkable performances of 2:03:11 and 2:03:48, respectively.

Notably, this year’s Valencia Marathon saw Lemma setting a new course record. Lemma shattered the previous record set by current world record holder Kelvin Kiptum of 2:01:53 in 2022. 

Sisay Lemma Takes Down Course Record At Valencia Marathon 2
Photo Credit: Je Luf

A rather large group of athletes made it through the halfway mark in 60:33 together, including 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder Joshua Cheptegei, who was making his marathon debut.

It wasn’t until km 24 that the race became carnage after a surge in pace that left just four runners to contest for the win. It was at this point that newcomer Cheptegei was dropped from the leading group.

Eventually, with 7km to go, a trio made up of eventual winner Lemma, runner-up Wolde, and Kandiwott Kandie of Kenya (4th) broke away. At the 30km mark in the race, they were within the world record pace. However, they were unable to maintain the requisite speed.

Sisay Lemma Takes Down Course Record At Valencia Marathon 3
Photo Credit: Trevor Welsh

Women’s Results

The women’s category of the Valencia Marathon was equally thrilling, as elite female runners showcased their talent and determination on the historically speedy course

It was a dominant display by the Ethiopian runners, who swept the podium.

In a close finish, Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa emerged victorious with an outstanding time of 2:15:51, securing her place as the winner of the women’s marathon. 

The women’s competition was fierce, with Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana and Hiwot Gebrekidan crossing the finish line in impressive times of 2:16:22 and 2:17:59, respectively.

The 2023 Valencia Marathon featured incredible performances from both men and women and shows promise for an exciting future in the world of marathon running after seeing Kelvin Kiptum’s course record come falling down. 

Sisay Lemma Takes Down Course Record At Valencia Marathon 4
Photo Credit: Paco Mateu

Full Results

Men’s Top-10

  1. Sisay Lemma (ETH) 2:01:48
  2. Alexander Mutiso (KEN) 2:03:11
  3. Dawit Wolde (ETH) 2:03:48
  4. Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:04:19
  5. Gabriel Geay (ETH) 2:04:33
  6. Kibiwott Kandie (KEN) 2:04:48
  7. Chalu Deso (ETH) 2:05:14
  8. Mohamed Esa Huseydin (ETH) 2:05:40
  9. Mehdi Frere (FRA) 2:05:43
  10. Gashau Ayale (ETH) 2:05:46

Women’s Top-10

  1. Worknesh Degefa (ETH) 2:15:51
  2. Almaz Ayana (ETH) 2:16:22
  3. Hiwot Gebrekidan (ETH) 2:17:59
  4. Celestine Chepchirchir (KEN) 2:20:46
  5. Majida Maayouf (ESP) 2:21:27
  6. Sultan Haydar (TUR) 2:21:27
  7. Desi Mokonin (BRN) 2:22:29
  8. Genevieve Gregson (AUS) 2:23:08
  9. Sofiia Yaremchuk (ITA) 2:23:16
  10. Isobel Batt-Doyle (AUS) 2:23:27
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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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