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Belgium’s Bashir Abdi and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola signed a successful farewell to 2019, taking convincing victories at the 55th San Silvestre Vallecana on Tuesday

Belgium’s Bashir Abdi and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola signed a successful farewell to 2019, taking convincing victories at the 55th San Silvestre Vallecana, a World Athletics Gold Label road race.

While Bashir got the better of Uganda’s Mande Bushendich in 27:47, Tola beat Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich by seven seconds, winning in 30:50. The downhill nature of the course means times achieved here are not valid for PB or record purposes.

On a pleasant windless night with the thermometer reaching 9C, the race kicked off at a moderate pace as a 10-man pack covered the opening kilometer in 2:48. Spain’s Toni Abadía moved to the front and opened a 30-meter gap by the second kilometer; shortly afterwards Jesús Ramos joined Abadía in the lead and the local pair went through three kilometers in 8:04.

The main favorites were about 40 meters behind, led by Turkey’s Aras Kaya, the Ugandan trio of Moses Kurong, Boniface Sikowo and last year’s third-place finisher Bushendich plus Bashir Abdi.

The Spaniards’ lead was to be short lived and before reaching the halfway point (13:30) they were caught by the chasing group with Kurong making most of the pacing duties. The key movement came with the clock reading 19:00 when Abdi broke away from the heading pack to build a two-second advantage on Bushendich and five over Abadía with 2.5km to go.

Abdi, the European 10,000m silver medalist, who had remained in the middle of the leading group for the first half of the race, proved to be in fine form over the tough final stages. At the tape, the Belgian was timed at 27:47, his first ever sub-28-minute clocking on the roads, while Bushendich finished in 27:51. Abadía managed the fastest ever time by a Spaniard here with 27:56, some consolation for recording his fourth third-place finish in Madrid.

“After competing at the Chicago Marathon (where he set a Belgian record of 2:06:14), I rested for several weeks but then I resumed training and I felt good today,” said Abdi, who was born in Somalia but fled the country at the age of 12. “The closing two kilometers were very tough but I reserved my energy in the first half and the tactic paid off.

“This year I have broken the Belgian record twice (2:07:03 in London and 2:06:14 in Chicago) and I would like to get close to the European record (2:04:16) in some of my next outings over the distance,” said Abdi, who will run a half marathon in the Netherlands on 12 January before contesting the Tokyo Marathon in March. “I would like to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, but also understand the decision to move the road events venue to Sapporo due to the weather conditions.”

The anticipated clash between Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola didn’t disappoint.

Sandwiched between a large pack of men, the two women were evenly matched for the first three kilometers which they covered in 8:56, clearly ahead of Portugal’s Carla Salomé Rocha (9:20) and Uganda’s late addition to the field Juliet Chekwel (9:24),

Chepngetich, who had declared at the pre-race press conference that she was not yet in the same kind of form which led her to the gold medal in Doha, could not follow in the Ethiopian’s footsteps before reaching halfway (14:50 vs 14:54); by then Rocha kept her four-second margin on the Ugandan (15:29/15:33).

In the second half, 25-year-old Tola managed to extend her lead to eight seconds with about two kilometers to go while Rocha also widened her advantage on Chekwel to another eight seconds.

Tola confirmed her supremacy during the uphill closing section and romped home in 30:50, the fourth fastest time ever recorded at this race. Meanwhile, Rocha completed the podium more than a minute behind the winner (31:52) but 21 seconds clear of Chekwel.

“I have beaten the recent world champion and that’s great for me,” said Tola, who is based in Geneva where she is coached by Tesfaye Eticha. “I feel in great shape and look forward to running under 2:20 in Tokyo in March.”

(01/02/2020) Views: 395 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

Every year on 31st December, since 1964, Madrid stages the most multitudinous athletics event in Spain.Sport and celebration come together in a 10-kilometre race in which fancy dress and artificial snow play a part. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because places run out fast! The event consists of two different competitions: a fun run (participants must be...


Ugandan Mande Bushendich and Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich will be the main favorites at the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana

The Ugandan Mande Bushendich and the Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich are the main favorites in the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana, which takes place on December 31 through the streets of the center of Madrid and that this Monday presents its favorites of the international elite test .

Ugandan Mande Bushendich returns to Vallecas after his third place last year wanting to climb to the top of the podium. In the record race last year he registered 27:24, and this year he has already dropped 28 minutes in Holland, although in the spring, which makes him run as one of the favorites.

Another candidate for the victory will be the Belgian-Somali Bashir Abdi, silver in the Berlin Europeans in 10,000 meters and that 'shattered' the Belgian marathon record a few months ago, with 2h06: 14 in Chicago. Also, Ugandan Moses Kurong, fourth in the Gothenburg Half Marathon 2019 and third in Barcelona in 2018.

The San Silvestre Vallecana women's will feature the Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, current marathon world champion in Doha 2019, and victories in the Dubai Marathon and the Istanbul Half Marathon this year. Second in 2018 at the Paris Marathon, Chepngetich will seek to follow the path of his compatriot Brigid Kosgei, who flew last year to set the new test record, with 29:54.

The Ethiopian Helen Bekele Tola is postulated as one of her rivals for victory. Second in the Tokyo Marathon and fourth in Berlin in this 2019, in Spain it has already won in 2017 in the Barcelona Marathon. It has 31:13 as a personal mark in a '10K' en route.

Among the women spain runners, the 23-year-old Carmela Cardama, a university runner of 10,000 meters in the United States and who is the fastest national in the history with her age, beats Alessandra Aguilar.

She was the leader of the Spanish team that won team silver in the 2019 European Cup of 10,000 meters. The San Silvestre Vallecana arrives in great shape, as evidenced by its recent national record in indoor track at 5,000 meters, the tenth best Spanish mark in the distance including outdoors.

(12/27/2019) Views: 477 ⚡AMP
by Dani Sanchez
San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

Every year on 31st December, since 1964, Madrid stages the most multitudinous athletics event in Spain.Sport and celebration come together in a 10-kilometre race in which fancy dress and artificial snow play a part. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because places run out fast! The event consists of two different competitions: a fun run (participants must be...


The 55-year-old San Silvestre Vallecana 10k has achieved the IAAF Gold label

Its recognition by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) with the prestigious Golden Label running, which recognizes the best races in the world on the road.

In Spain, it is the only 10K race that has the Gold Race Running Label while in the rest of the world, only another three 10K have this same recognition: the Ottawa 10K (Canada), the Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bengaluru( India) and the Birell Prague Grand Prix(Czech Republic).

Among the aspects that the IAAF takes into account when awarding this distinction is the level of the brands, which logically implies having international athletes of the highest level.

It is also important that the international media echo the news and, therefore, that the test has an important impact outside of Spain. The race must also be broadcast live.

Finally, the race must have a high organizational level, so that it meets the demanding quality standards established by the IAAF itself.

(07/09/2019) Views: 728 ⚡AMP
This is one good race! 7/10 9:54 pm

San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

Every year on 31st December, since 1964, Madrid stages the most multitudinous athletics event in Spain.Sport and celebration come together in a 10-kilometre race in which fancy dress and artificial snow play a part. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because places run out fast! The event consists of two different competitions: a fun run (participants must be...


Records set at the annual San Silvestre Vallecana 10k as Kenya’s teenager breaks Kipchoge course Record

Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo and Kenyan runner Brigid Kosgei established new men's and women's records in the annual San Silvestre Vallecana 10K race.

Kiplimo, 18, completed the course through the Vallecas neighborhood in 26:41 here on Monday, besting what was thought to be the unassailable mark of 26:54, set in 2011 by Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.

On a pleasant night with the thermometer reaching 50F (10C), the race kicked off at a frantic pace as an eight-man pack covered the opening two kilometers in 5:24, with Kiplimo and Kenya’s Solomon Boit taking charge of the rhythm. Spain’s Toni Abadía was the only non-African among them.

The in-form Ugandan then upped the tempo, averaging a terrific 2:35 over the subsequent three kilometers to reach halfway in 13:12, well on schedule to improve on the course record. By then only Ethiopia’s world cross country bronze medallist Abadi Hadis and Eritrea’s Abrar Osman managed to remain on Kiplimo’s shoulder with Uganda’s Mande Bushendich and Tanzania’s Agustino Sulle following.

The second half witnessed Kiplimo and Hadis’s magnificent display as the pair kept knocking off kilometers at a record-breaking pace. 

Ethiopian competitor Abadi Hadis finished second with a time of 26:54, while Kiplimo's countryman Mande Bushendich completed the podium.

In the women's race, Kosgei picked up her second Vallecana trophy in three years with a time of 29:54, nearly a minute faster than Gelete Burka's previous record of 30:53.

Kenya's Helen Obiri, world champion in the 5,000m, came second, just five seconds behind the winner. Tirunesh Dibada of Ethiopia, an Olympic gold medalist, had to settle for third.

A total of 42,500 people took part in the event, which features an amateur "fun run" before the professional race.

(01/01/2019) Views: 886 ⚡AMP

Kenya’s Kosgei smash the woman’s course record in Madrid’s 54th Annual San Silvestre Vallecana 10k

The women’s event at the 54th Annual Madrid’s San Silvestre Vallecana 10k was billed as a thrilling encounter between Tirunesh Dibaba and Hellen Obiri, but the Ethiopian star was never a factor as Obiri and Brigid Kosgei flew from the gun, covering every kilometre well inside three-minute pace.

By the 3000m point (8:46) they had built an eight-second margin on Dibaba before extending their lead to 14 seconds by halfway (14:40/14:54). At that point it already seemed clear that Burka’s 30:53 record would fall by a huge margin.

With some 2500m left the Kenyan tandem had increased their advantage on the Ethiopian to 26 seconds and neither of them showed a minor signal of weakness. Kosgei, a standout marathoner with a 2:18:37 best, made most of the pacing while Obiri, the world 5000m champion, seemed willing to wait until the later stages to take advantage of her superior closing speed.

The key move came inside the closing kilometre when Kosgei opened a small gap on Obiri. That proved decisive as the 24-year-old crossed the finish line in a brilliant 29:54 to Obiri’s 29:59. Dibaba completed the classiest ever podium with a fine 30:40 performance, also under the previous record.

"The race is very fast, I’m delighted with my clocking but despite this fast time I'll keep focused on the marathon,” said Kosgei, who won here in 2016 in a much slower 32:07.

Kosgei said her next appearance is not yet confirmed, but she does plan to compete at the Kenyan trials for the World Cross Country Championships.

(01/01/2019) Views: 871 ⚡AMP

World U20 10,000m silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo will be the man to beat at Vallecana 10k race

In the men's race, world U20 10,000m silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo will start as the man to beat. The Ugandan teenager, still 17, is unbeaten in four races this autumn season: a 10km event in Trento in October and three IAAF Cross Country Permit races in the Spanish cities of Atapuerca, Soria and Alcobendas.

Kiplimo clocked 28:17 at the Giro al Sas in Trento, his best 10km on the roads, a performance he will likely improve upon Monday in his quest for the win. However, the reigning world U20 cross country champion will face dangerous rivals including Ethiopia’s Abadi Hadis, the reigning world cross country bronze medallist and Kenya’s Benard Ngeno. Both competed at the Valencia Half Marathon in October, Hadis finishing third in 58:44 and Ngeno sixth in 59:22, massive PBs for both. Hadis, 21, also finished fourth in Atapuerca.

Watch out too for Uganda’s Mande Bushendich, a 21-year-old who improved his 10km PB to 28:01 in Durban in October. Eritrea’s Abrar Osman will also looking for a top-three spot after his recent 42:34 15km career best in Nijmegen while Kenya’s Solomon Boit, a creditable fourth (27:57.44) at the World U20 Championships over 10,000m, Ethiopia’s Mogos Tuemay, a 27:48:41 10,000m specialist and Tanzania’s Agustino Sulle, a 2:07:46 marathoner, should also fight for a top-five spot.

Spanish hopes rest on Adel Mechaal, fresh from an eighth place finish at the European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg and Toni Abadía, the national record holder for the distance with a 27:48 clocking set in Laredo last March. The 28-year-old came 14th in Tilburg and will defend the third place he managed here the last two years. Javier Guerra, an accomplished road athlete with 1:01:38 and 2:08:36 half marathon and marathon credentials, will also be on show.

The race is held on a slightly downhill 10km point-to-point course and starts alongside Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium before finishing on the pitch of another football team, Rayo Vallecano, in Madrid’s southern suburbs.

Forecasters predict a mild night on Monday with temperatures ranging between 8-10C and no rain expected when the gun sounds the start of the last IAAF Label road race of 2018.

(12/29/2018) Views: 779 ⚡AMP

Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei is one of the stars at the San Silvestre Vallecana 10K

 The young Ugandan athlete Joshua Cheptegei will be one of the international attractions of the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana that will be run December 31 through the streets of Madrid.

Cheptegei has confirmed his progression with a spectacular double at the Commonwealth Games of the Commonwealth and his spectacular 27:16 10K in Durban South Africa.

But who can forget watching Cheptegei at the 2017 World Cross Country Championships when he staggered to the finish line. The race was held in his country, in Kampala, and the images of him suffering were seen around the world.

Cheptegei will be the leader of the NN Running Team, which will feature other high-level athletes such as fellow countryman and training partner Mande Bushendich, 21, who ran at 28:01 in Durban, the Eritrean Abrar Osman, the Tanzanian marathon runner Augustino Sulle, and Spaniard Marc Roig.

(12/27/2018) Views: 754 ⚡AMP

Kiptanui wins the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid

Kenya’s Erick Kiptanui was the overwhelming winner at the men’s Madrid’s 53th San Silvestre Vallecana, an IAAF Silver Label road race, on the New Year’s Eve. Kiptanui produced the race’s third fastest ever time by clocking 27:34 while Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka stormed to a 30:55 victory in the corresponding women’s race to miss her own race record by just two seconds. (01/02/2018) Views: 779 ⚡AMP
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