15 NOV 2013 Preview Valencia, Spain

Could Valencia be the venue for Spain's fastest ever Marathon?

Felix Kipkemboi Keny (Volare Sports)Felix Kipkemboi Keny (Volare Sports) © Copyright

The 2013 Divina Pastora Valencia Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label Road race, has as its target the objective of becoming the fastest Marathon in Spain on Sunday (17).

The Valencia course record belongs to Kenya’s Isaiah Kosgei Kiplagat, who clocked 2:07:59 to win in 2011 but the best over the classic distance on Spanish roads is the 2:07:30 run by his compatriot Jackosn Kipkoech in Barcelona three years ago.

With a line-up that includes no fewer than nine men having gone under the 2:10 at least once in their careers, this time could be in jeopardy.

Fastest in the field is Kenya’s Felix Kipkemoi Keny, who has a 2:07:31 performance from the Dong-A Marathon in Seoul last year to his credit.

He will face a stiff opposition from his fellow Kenyans Samson Kiptoo Bungei (best of 2:08:36), Shadrack Kipchumba Kiplagat (2:08:36), Laban Kipkemoi Moiben (2:09:13) and John Nzau Mwangangi (2:09:32).

The Ethiopian duo of Girma Tefera Wegayehu (2:08:25) and Dejene Yirdaw are also powerful and watch out too for Qatar’s Nicholas Kemboi (2:08:31) and Morocco’s Hassane Ahouchar (2:08.47).

Spanish hopes rest mainly on local runner and well-known international Carles Castillejo, who is aiming to go under 2:10 in his third outing over the distance after making a promising debut in 2:10:09 when winning the 2011 Spanish title and then finishing 24th at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

On the women’s side the depth of the field is a little more modest.

Ethiopia’s Azalech Masresha holds the quickest time thanks to her Paris 2010 clocking of 2:25:34 while Namibia’s Beata Nandjala Naigambo is the only other athlete having broken the two-and-a-half hour barrier with a best of 2:27:54.

The women’s course record in Valencia is held by Ethiopia’s Andugna Birhane Dibaba who won last year with 2:29:25. Spain’s leading woman is Vanessa Veiga, who has a best of 2:32:57, who won the Madrid Marathon in April with 2:36:38.

The event is jointly organized by the City Council of Valencia and Sociedad Deportiva Correcaminos and this year the event has reached its limit of 11,300 entries.

It’s also a record number as the previous best is 9200 from last year. It’s also worth mentioning that a 24% of the field comes from overseas.

In addition to the main event, the associated Divina Pastora Valencia 10km race will have around 7800 runners.

The start and finish areas of both races are located in the magnificent City of Arts and Sciences, which is very close to the centre of Valencia.

The circuit passes some of the most famous city sites, such as the  Formula 1 circuit, the historic city centre, and  America’s Cup port area.

Weather forecasters predict a cloudy day with the probability of light rain and a temperature in the range of 10-15 degrees Celsius.

Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF