Kimutai and Yimer win the Barcelona Marathon and break the race records

Marius Kimutai, winner with 2.05.06, and Zeineba Yimer, winner with 2.19.44, managed this Sunday to improve the limits of the Barcelona circuit, placing the Zurich Marató de Barcelona among the fastest 42-kilometre races in Europe. Especially commendable is the Ethiopian's timer, below 2 hours and 20 minutes.

The race launched by the hares consolidated a pace, in the leading group of men, of less than three minutes per kilometer from the start on Avenida María Cristina, which guaranteed the breaking of the Ethiopian Yihuniligne Adane's record with 2.05.53, made in the last edition 2022.

The compact group of a dozen runners that led the test passed kilometer 30 (in 1.29.18) still grouped. From here the peloton stretched following the trail of the only hare still in the race and changes of pace followed, with the favourite, the Kenyan-born Turk Kaan Kigen Özbilen, trying to control the race when the last hare abandoned in the 31.

In 35, only a couple of athletes have been able to hold the pace imposed by Özbilen, the Moroccan Othmane El Goumri and the Bahraini of Kenyan origin Marius Kimutai. The podium seemed determined, but the order on the drawer was still to be determined.

The Turk gave in at minute 39 and El Goumri, second a couple of editions ago on this same circuit with 2.06.18, took advantage of his knowledge of the route to pick up the pace, seconded by Kimutai, sixth classified in the 2021 Barcelona Marathon and therefore as well as the Moroccan, who is also familiar with the blue-painted marathon track in the Catalan capital.

Kimutai waited for a definitive change of pace, just before facing Sepúlveda street and ended up winning alone with a new circuit record, 2.05.06, although he could not go below 2.05, which was the objective of the organization. El Goumri held on to second place and finished with a new Moroccan national record (2.05.12). Özbilen was the third on the podium, finishing in 2.05.37.

Very similar script in the women's race, passing the half marathon in 1.09, and with three Africans fighting for podium places in the final kilometers. The starting pace was already setting a new circuit record, this time by a much wider margin than that of the men.

Zeineba Yeimer finally managed to run under 2.20 and set a new women's record on the circuit, which lowers the previous record by more than three minutes and places it at an enviable 2.19. Second entered Selly Chepyego (2.20.03), and third and first European the Romanian Delvine Meringor (2.20.49).

posted Sunday March 19th