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Will Letesenbet Gidey break the women's marathon world record in Valencia on Sunday?

The undisputed fastest female distance runner in history, Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia, will make her highly anticipated 42.2-km debut on Sunday at the 2022 Valencia Marathon.

The 24-year-old currently holds world records over 5,000m (14:06.62), 10,000m (29:01.03), and the half-marathon (62:52), plus she is the reigning world 10,000m champion.

Gidey has found success in Valencia—it’s where she set two of her world records (5,000m and half-marathon). To date, she is the only woman to run under the 64- and 63-minute barrier for the half-marathon, which predicts she is ready for something fast on Sunday.

What attracts many of the world’s top marathoners to race in Valencia is the favourable weather and flat course. In the 2020 edition, 60 athletes achieved their qualification times for the Tokyo Olympics.

The weather for Sunday couldn’t be better for marathoning—the current forecast calls for 5 C with less than 10 km/h winds. It is reported that Gidey will have three male pacemakers guiding her, and she will be trying to run fast, says her agent.

Although Gidey has not come out and said she is chasing the world record, her previous times over 10K and 21.1 km have shown that she could be capable of something in the range of 2:16 to 2:12. 

Until 2019, only one female marathoner had ever run under 2:16—Paula Radcliffe‘s 2:15:25 at the 2003 London Marathon. Since 2019, three women have broken the 2:16 mark, with Brigid Kosgei’s world record time of 2:14:04 at the 2019 Chicago Marathon leading the way. Her Kenyan compatriot Ruth Chepngetich came within 14 seconds of her record at this year’s Chicago Marathon, becoming the second-fastest female marathoner in history (2:14:18).

Letesenbet Gidey leads Sifan Hassan and the late Agnes Tirop at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Photo: Kevin Morris

Another time on Gidey’s mind is the Ethiopian national record of 2:15:37, which was run by Tigist Assefa at the 2022 Berlin Marathon.

Right now, Gidey is at the top of her game, and the only thing holding her back is her lack of marathon experience. Valencia offers her a chance to reach times no woman has touched, and on Sunday, we are likely to see something special.

Our prediction is something in the realm of 2:13-low, smashing the world record and achieving the title of the fastest debutante of all time. 

(12/03/2022) Views: 804 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO

The Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon is held annually in the historic city of Valencia which, with its entirely flat circuit and perfect November temperature, averaging between 12-17 degrees, represents the ideal setting for hosting such a long-distance sporting challenge. This, coupled with the most incomparable of settings, makes the Valencia Marathon, Valencia, one of the most important events in...

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