Geoffrey Kamworor and Lawrence Cherono will be in the spotlight at the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP, a World Athletics Elite Platinum Label race on Sunday, December 5.
Kamworor aims to improve his lifetime best time of 2:06:12 set on his debut over the marathon distance in Berlin in 2012. The 29-year-old Kenyan runner won three world half marathon titles in Copenaghen 2014, Cardiff 2016 and Valencia 2018, two world cross country gold medals in Guyiang 2015 and Kampala 2017, the New York marathon in 2017 in 2:10:53 and 2019 in 2:08:13 and the world silver medal in the 10000m in Beijing 2015 in 27:01.76. He has been preparing for the Valencia Marathon since he had to withdraw from the Olympic Games in Tokyo due to an ankle injury. He clocked 27:01.06 at altitude in Nairobi during the Kenyan Olympic Trials before he got injured.
“I have great memories of Valencia. It’s the city of running. The atmosphere is special. I managed to be world half marathon. I know the circuit is incredibly fast and it’s definitely a great opportunity to record a quick time”, said Kamworor.
Cherono finished fourth at the Olympic Games and scored the double of US marathon races winning in Boston in 2:07:57 and Chicago in 2:05:45 in 2019. The 33-year-old Kenyan runner returns to Valencia where he finished second last year improving his PB to 2:03:04, the fastest time among the entrants.
The other 2:04 runners in the line-up are Herpasa Negasa, who finished second in Dubai 2019 in 2:03:40, and Kinde Atanaw, who won the Valencia Marathon in 2:03:51. The Ethiopian contingent is completed by Chalu Desu and Abebe Negewo, who finished sixth and eighth in Valencia last year clocking respectively 2:04:53 and 2:05:16.
Amdamlak Belihu, who finished fifth in the 10000m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha and at the 2020 World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, will make his debut over the marathon distance. The 22-year-old Ethiopian runner set his PBs of 26:53.15 in the 10000m in Hengelo and 58:54 in the half marathon in New Dehli in 2020.
The best European runners in the field are Amanal Petros from Germany, who set a lifetime best of 2:07:18 and national half marathon record of 1:00:09 in Valencia, former European marathon record holder Sondre Moen, who clocked 2:05:48 in Fukuoka 2017, Hamid Ben Daoud, who will target the Spanish record of 2:06:52 after setting his half marathon record of 1:01:05 in Valencia.
A large group of pacemakers will target a 2:55 pace for each km to reach the half marathon mark in 1:01:30, on schedule to break the course record of 2:03:00 set by Evans Chebet.
Valencia has build a strong reputation as the city of running in recent years. World records were set in women’s 5000 metres, men’s 10000 metres, in the half marathon and in the 10 km.
In the women's field Guteni Shone and Azmera Gebru start as the favorites in Valencia.