World record-holder for 5000m and 10,000m tackles 26.2 miles for the primary time as Spanish street race seems set to host some scorching performances
A big contingent of Brits are heading to the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso on Sunday (Dec 3) seeking quick instances. They embrace Lily Partridge, Clara Evans, Sonia Samuels, Jonny Mellor, Phil Sesemann and Mahamed Mahamed. A lot of the consideration, although, can be on Joshua Cheptegei.
The Ugandan is making his debut on the distance after a observe profession that has seen him win three world 10,000m titles, the Olympic 5000m gold and break world information at 5000m and 10,000m.
He has a effective historical past in Valencia, too, together with his world 10km street report being set within the Spanish metropolis in 2019 adopted by his still-standing world 10,000m mark of 26:11.00 there in 2020.
Cheptegei was first drawn to the marathon as a 15-year-old boy when he noticed fellow Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich race to Olympic gold over 26.2 miles in London. Since then Cheptegei has sought recommendation from Kiprotich – and in addition fellow NN Operating athlete Eliud Kipchoge.
Cheptegei says: “I’m not really working quick instances as a result of it’s nonetheless a brand new distance for me and I’m nonetheless studying additionally in coaching. I need to be taught… and the perfect for me can be seeing myself being on the rostrum.”
The 27-year-old, who has been coaching at altitude in Kapchorwa within the build-up to the race, added: “The observe has taught me to be affected person when chasing my objectives. I’ll strategy the marathon in the identical regards. In case you are not affected person within the marathon, it means you won’t be able to succeed in your vacation spot and objectives.
“I need to strategy this marathon with a whole lot of respect as it’s one thing new for me. I need to strategy it in a brand new dimension. All of us are constructed in another way, what’s vital for me is to only benefit from the race and see what occurs after 35 kilometres.”
Valencia is renonwed for producing quick instances and final yr’s races had been gained by Kelvin Kiptum in 2:01:53 and Amane Beriso in 2:14:58 with Kiptum occurring to interrupt the world report this yr in Chicago.
Cheptegei gained’t have all of it his personal approach on Sunday both. Rivals embrace Kenenisa Bekele (PB 2:01:41), Gabriel Geay of Tanzania (2:03:00), Alexander Mutiso of Kenya (2:03:29), Getaneh Molla of Ethiopia (2:03:34), Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia (2:03:36), Leul Gebresilase of Ethiopia (2:04:02), Chalu Deso of Ethiopia (2:04:53), Dawit Wolde of Ethiopia (2:04:27), Daniel do Nascimento of Brazil (2:04:51), Chalu Deso of Ethiopia (2:04:53) and Titus Kipruto of Kenya (2:04:54).
Like Cheptegei, Bekele has held world information at 5000m and 10,000m and his marathon greatest is 2:01:41 from 2019. However can the Ethiopian legend nonetheless be a drive on the age of 41?
Lemma, in the meantime, gained the London Marathon in 2021 and can be a risk if he can return to that type of type. Be careful too for Kibiwott Kandie, who set a world half-marathon report of 57:32 in Valencia three years in the past after which beat a top-class subject in the identical race in 57:40 in October this yr. Kandie has run a marathon prior to now nevertheless it was an underpar 2:13:43 in New York Metropolis in 2021.
The ladies’s line-up isn’t any much less spectacular and led by Tsegay Gemechu of Ethiopia (PB 2:16:56), Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia (2:17:20), Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia (2:17:41), Joan Chelimo Melly of Romania (2:18:04) Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia (2:18:05) and Hiwot Gebrekidan of Ethiopia (2:19:10). Bosena Mulatie of Ethiopia, in the meantime, makes her marathon debut after a 65:46 half-marathon in 2022.
Marc Roig from the Valencia Marathon says:“In a pre-Olympic yr, the Valencia Marathon represents the strongest occasion on the planet. Dozens of athletes wish to guide their ticket to Paris 2024, with greater than a dozen looking for nationwide information and each the boys’s and girls’s front-runners going for course information. Valencia is, as soon as once more, the ciudad del working.”
For the Brits in Valencia, Mellor and Sesemann can be attacking their respective PBs of two:10:03 and a pair of:10:23, whereas Mahamed is making his marathon debut after a 61:16 half-marathon greatest in September.
Partridge will hope to get again to her greatest – her PB of two:29:24 was set in 2018 – following damage issues and foot surgical procedure. After effective current type aged 44, it will likely be attention-grabbing to see what Samuels can do too, whereas Lauren Heyes steps as much as the marathon after a cross-country and observe profession that noticed her run 32:26.26 for 10,000m.
READ MORE: Lily Partridge’s coaching routine
Additional British entries embrace: Naomi Mitchell, Rachel McGuinness, Anna Bracegirdle, Emily Kearney, Kate Drew, Kirsty Longley, Andy Heyes, Dan Nash, Alex Milne, Adam Bowden, Ian Leitch, James Hoad, Matt Dickinson, Ollie Lockley, Ewan Cameron and Thomas Cornthwaite.
The Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso begins at 8:15am native time on Sunday and for UK viewers can be reside on the BBC pink button.
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