Valencia could not recover the world record in the men’s Half Marathon, but it did enjoy a top-level race with a Kibiwot Kandie who achieved his third victory in the city and with a historic Spanish record by Carlos Mayo, who 22 years later, was able to surpass the best record by Fabián Roncero.
It didn’t take long for the race to break down with four of the big favorites being left alone in the first kilometers and always close to world record passing times.. Of course, the time only put them below the pace of the record starting at kilometer 10, with a margin of one second, which could be worth gold, as Kibiwot Kandie himself, winner of last year’s test and who saw how They took away his record for a second months later.
He himself and the Ethiopians Yomif Kejelcha, Selemon Barega and Hagos Gebrhiwet were the ones who remained in the fight for victorywith a pace that was increasing, to the point of being six seconds below the world record at kilometer 12, shortly after the halfway point of the test.
A weather that invited us to be optimistic but that got worse in the following kilometersto the point of arriving with a disadvantage of seven seconds compared to the record at kilometer 15.
However, The news was better for Carlos Mayo, who was looking for a Spanish record that had already lasted 22 years.since Fabián Roncero achieved it in 2001 in Berlin, with a time of 59:52.
With just over two kilometers to go, Kejelcha seemed to break the leading group, with Hagos Gebrhiwet and Kandie as the only rivals who could keep up with him, already with Selemon Barega off the hook a few meters. Everything pointed to an end to the sprint between these three players, without a fight for the world record but with maximum emotion. And all with Selemon Barega trying to get closer to the leading group again, without success in the end.
And the moment of truth arrived, with the attack of Kibiwot Kandie who broke the race in the last meters to end up winning for the third time in Valencia, ahead of Yomif Kejelcha is already just 8 seconds away from the world record. And all in a race in which up to five athletes lowered the best mark of the year.
Moments later, Carlos Mayo reached the finish line to make history, improving Spain’s record that lasted 22 years. A feat that put the finishing touch to the men’s race with an unofficial time of 59:38.