Sisay Lemma Sets Valencia Marathon Course Record with 2:01:48

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma won the men’s race at the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso setting his PB and the course record with 2:01:48. Lemma has moved to fourth in the world all-time list behind Kelvin Kiptum (2:00:35), Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09) and Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41). Lemma becomes the fourth runner in history to break the 2:02 barrier. 

Sisay Lemma: “I am happy that I broke the course record. I really like this course”. 

Lemma broke the course record set by Kiptum, who won last year’s edition in 2:01:53. The Ethiopian runner won the second World Athletics Platinum race of his career following his triumph in London in 2021 in 2:04:01. He also finished third in Berlin in 2019 (2:03:36), in Tokyo in 2020 (2:04:51) and in London in 2020 (2:05:45). 

Hillary Kipkoech from Kenya did a good pacemaking job in the first half of the race. Lemma, Dawit Wolde and Kibiwot Kandie formed the leading group just before the 21 km mark. 

Kandie took the lead after the pacemakers dropped at the 30 km mark before Wolde surged forward. 

Lemma and Wolde were running in front after the 30 km mark. Kandie looked comfortable in third place ahead of Mutiso. Lemma was still on target to improve Kiptum’s course record of 2:01:53 and made the decisive move breaking away from Wolde and Kandie with 7 km to go and built a comfortable lead at 40 km. 

Kenya’s Alexander Mutiso finished second in 2:03:11 ahead of former 1500m world under 18 bronze medallist Dawit Wolde, who crossed the finish-line in third place 37 seconds further back improving his PB to 2:03:48. 

Alexander Mutiso: “I wasn’t worried when I was dropped and my plan was to follow with my own pace and it worked well for me because I managed to surge forward in the last few kilometres and finished second”.

Three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele was 20 seconds behind the leading group. He decided not to follow the leading pack, but finished strongly in the final metres crossing the finish-line in fourth place in a world master 40 record with 2:04:19. 

Gabriel Geay from Tanzania took fifth place in 2:04:33.  Former world half marathon record Kibiwot Kandie, who won the Valencia Half Marathon in 57:40 last October, finished sixth in a PB of 2:04:48. 

Chalu Deso from Ethiopia finished seventh in 2:05:14 ahead of Mohamed Esa Huseydin (2:05:40), Mehdi Frere (2:05:43), Gashau Ayale (2:05:46). Tariku Novales improved the Spanish record to 2:05:48. 

Nico Navarro from Spain finished 14th in 2:05:53. Nekagenet Crippa from Italy, brother of 10000m European champion Yeman Crippa, set a qualifying standard for the Olympic Games in Paris with 2:07:40 becoming the fourth fastest Italian runner in history. 

Three-time world 10000 metres champion Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda went through at 21 in 1:00:35 in the leading group, but he slowed down in the second half and finished in 37th place in 2:08:59 on his debut over this distance.  

The top 27 athletes dipped under the 2:08 barrier. Forty athletes ran faster than 2:10. 

Women’s race: 

Workenesh Degefa led the Ethiopian top-three winning the women’s race improving her PB to 2:15:51. Degefa set her previous PB of 2:17:41 in Dubai in 2019. She has moved up to seventh in the all-time list. 

Former 10000 metres world record holder Almaz Ayana from Ethiopia finished second improving her PB to 2:16:22. Hiwot Gebrekidan crossed the finish-line just inside the 2:18 barrier in 2:17:59 completing the all-Ethiopian podium. 

Celestine Chepchirchir from Kenya finished fourth in 2:20:46. Majida Maayouf from Spain narrowly missed her national record in fifth place holding off Sultan Haydar with the same time of 2:21.27. 

Desi Mokonen took seventh place in 2:22:29. Geneviève Gregson from Australia finished eighth in 2:23:08. Sofia Yaremchuk from Italy improved Valeria Straneo’s national record to cross the finish-line in ninth place in 2:23:16. 

The top 18 runners dipped under the 2:25 barrier. 

Ayana, who won the Amsterdam Marathon in 2022 on her debut over the distance, took the early lead in the early stages of the race ahead of Degefa, Hiwot Gebrekidan and Melat Kejelcha. 

Degefa took charge at 30 km opening a gap over Ayana, who was not able to close the gap. 

Degefa ran alone at the front at 40 km and went on to cross the finish-line in 2:15:51.

If you missed to watch the race here is full Valencia Marathon replay on YouTube.


  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
  • 37. Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) 2:08:59


  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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