Sunday February 10th, 2019
Distance: Half Marathon
The half-marathon in Barcelona, also known as the Mitja Marató de Barcelona, is held every March. It’s the second largest running event in Barcelona next to the Marathon.
The route takes the runners from the Arc de Triomf, by the old town to the Plaça Catalunya. From there it goes down the famous Ramblas and along Avenida del Paral·lel. Then it goes through the modernist Eixample district back to the Arc de Triomf, Parc de la Ciutadella further along the eastern part of Eixample to the Torre Agbar, one of the most striking buildings in Barcelona. The route takes the runners along the Diagonal then goes to the Fòrum and along the beach again at the Parc de la Ciutadella to Arc de Triomf, which is the finishing line. With this route, a very interesting and varied street circuit is marked out.
|2nd Male||1:00:09||Julien Wanders||25||CHE|
|3rd Male||1:00:10||Moses Kurong||24||UGA|
|4th Male||1:00:16||MANDE ABADALLAH||28||UGA|
|2nd Female||1:08:37||Dibabe Kuma||20||ETH|
|3rd Female||1:08:48||Nyirarukundo Salome||20||RWANDA|
|4th Female||1:09:26||BELETE MIMI||30||BAHRAIN|
|M 40-49||1:07:31||BACHIRI DJAMEL||45||FRANCE|
|M 50-59||1:10:19||BERNARDÓ ANTONI PLANAS||57||ANDORRA|
|M 60-69||1:21:41||JUAN CARLOS SÁNCHEZ GARCÍA||65||SPAIN|
|F 40-49||1:16:08||JULIE BRISCOE||40||UNITED KINGDOM|
|F 60-69||1:48:25||MARGARITA MUÑOZ ARENAS||65||SPAIN|
Ethiopia’s Mule Wasihun took an overwhelming victory at the eDreams Mitja Marato Barcelona, winning the IAAF Gold Label road race comfortably in a course record of 59:44 on Sunday (11).
The 24-year-old took 20 seconds off the previous course record set five years ago by Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge.
Bahrain’s Tejitu Daba confirmed her status as pre-eventfavorite in the women’s race to win in 1:08:36, one second ahead of Ethiopia’s Dibabe Kuma, who took 41 seconds off her career best.
The men’s race kicked off with the thermometer barely reaching 4C but that was no barrier for a brisk early pace as pacemaker Alex Kibarus led the main group to a 14:23 five-kilometer split. By then seven men remained at the front: the Ethiopian duo of Wasihun and Azmeraw Mengistu, the Ugandan pair of Moses Kurong and Abdallah Mande, the Kenyan tandem of Meshack Koech and last year’s winner Leonard Langat and Switzerland’s Julien Wanders, who ran closest to the pacer.
Surprisingly, the 21-year-old Swiss ran comfortably in the leading group 20 seconds ahead of Britain’s Ben Connor, himself another eight seconds clear of another Briton Luke Traynor.
The following five-kilometer section was a bit faster and the leaders reached 10kilometers in 28:36, still a few seconds outside the course record schedule. By then, Connor had slightly reduced the gap to the main group to 17 seconds but Traynor, timed at 29:18, had lost ground.
Once the pacesetter left, Wanders took command of the race. Mengistu could not live with his pace and the heading group was whittled down to six men by the time they reached 15kilometers in 42:47.
Shortly afterwards, eventual victor Wasihun – a creditable 2:05:39 marathon performer last October in Amsterdam – made his move and easily broke away thanks to a frantic 14:01 split on the slightly uphill section of the race. Within a matter of 300 meters, he had built a 20-second advantage over Wanders and Kurong while Mande, Langat and Koechtraveled another four seconds in arrears.
At the tape, the Ethiopian secured a course record of 59:44 to improve on his previous best of 1:00:08 while Wanders fiercely battled with Kurong for the runner-up spot which he finally managed in a huge PB and Swiss record of 1:00:09. Kurong had to settle for the third place on the podium, one second in arrears.
Further behind, Connor had joined a fading Mengistu before the 20-kilometer point, but the Ethiopian eventually prevailed over the Briton (1:01:10 vs 1:01:12), a massive three-minute improvement for Connor, whose compatriots Traynor (1:01:57, PB too) and Jonny Mellor (1:03:17) completed a classy top 10.
“Running in Barcelona has been a fantastic experience,” said Wasihun. “I felt fine throughout but I didn’t think of setting such a good time today. After halfway, Irealized I could beat the course record and I went for it.”
“I’m delighted with my performance today,” said an elated Wanders. “The race has been nearly perfect in terms of weather, rivals, pacesetting, so I can’t ask for more. I’m now looking forward to competing at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia on 24 March.”
Wanders has been living in the Kenyan city of Iten for the past four years. His 1:00:09 clocking is also a European under-23 record and moves him to sixth on the European all-time list.