The Trinidad Alfonso Zurich Valencia Half Marathon set the stage for some incredibly fast times this morning in Valencia, Spain. The race, part of the SuperHalfs, fast and flat course combined with exceptional weather conditions had runners just inches away from cracking the world record.
Three runners came within ten seconds of the world record in a thrilling race on the men’s side. It would be an aggressive race from the start, and a small selection of runners, one Kenyan, and two Ethiopians, would lead the entire race.
Unable to get any separation from one another, it came down to an exciting finish at the line. Ultimately, Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya would be the first across, edging out his two competitors by just one second. Kandie completed the course in 57:40, just nine seconds off the world record.
Kandie’s performance is the fastest half-marathon run in 2023 and the fourth-fastest of all time.
The Ethiopian duo, made up of Yomif Kejelchaa and Hagos Gebrhiwet, would finish second and third, respectively. Both runners recorded an official time of 57:41.
Kejelchaa achieved an incredible personal best by about one minute and also beat his own national record.
The men’s race had a deeply talented field, with 15 runners clocking a time under 1 hour.
A podium sweep by the Kenyan runners in the women’s race reinforced their dominance in the half-marathon distance.
Margaret Chelimo would be the leading Kenyan as she crossed the line in 1:04:46.
She was followed closely by her compatriot Irine Cheptai, who would take second place after clocking a time of 1:04:53.
Rounding out the Kenyan podium sweep was Janet Chepngetich, who finished with a time of 1:05:15.
Men’s And Women’s Spanish Records Fall
It was a glorious day for the Spanish runners competing on home soil as both the men’s and women’s national records over the distance would fall.
The previous men’s Spanish record of 59:52 set by Fabián Roncero stood for 22 years.
Carlos Mayo was able to shatter that record this morning by 13 seconds after completing the race in 59:39.
Mayo came into the Valencia Half Marathon in top form, he warned prior to the race. Although he is ultimately preparing for the full marathon distance at the Valencia Marathon in December, he also made this race an objective.
Mayo held the second-fastest Spanish half marathon time prior to the event, running 1:00:06 in 2020, also in Valencia. This would be his first time cracking under 1 hour.
On the women’s side, Laura Luengo had the race of her life and achieved an unexpected national record. Luengo recorded an official time of 1:09:41, bettering the previous record of 1:09:51 set by Trihas Gebre in 2008.
The Valencia Half Marathon has become renowned for its fast course, exceptional weather, and consistently breaking records. With the men’s record just seconds away from breaking, who do you think will run the next fastest half marathon?