14 January 2017, 8am
Maratón Valencia Trinidad Alfonso
Sun 20 November 2016
After 36 editions this event, organised by the city’s running club SD Correcaminos and the Valencia City Council, has become a major attraction for athletes who want to run an autumn marathon in a warm climate and a perfect atmosphere. There are a great many cities to choose from when it comes to running a marathon but coming to Valencia is a good decision.
The Valencia Marathon has been ranked the best race in Spain by the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA) and has also been awarded an IAAF ‘Gold Label’. Valencia and its marathon have become a favourite fixture in the international running calendar.
The last edition of the Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon was the fastest in Spain in the female category. Valary Jemeli Aiyabei beat the previous record (02:26:57) by more than two minutes. Victor Kipchirchir was more than a minute outside the course record (2:06:13) but he ran a personal best by more than two minutes which shows that the Valencia course is exceptionally fast.
First among the national elite runners were Rafa Iglesias (2:16:18) and Marta Esteban (2:30:47). Esteban also bettered her personal best. She also won the Regional Marathon Championship which was incorporated within this race.
Aiyabei’s and Kipchirchir’s performances demonstrate that Valencia is a city designed for runners to fly along its streets. This is backed up by this year’s figures deeper down the field: 23 men ran personal bests under 2:20 and more than 1100 under three hours. Very few marathons can boast a record such as this.
More than 27,500 runners took part in the Marathon and the associated 10km event and thousands of people lined the route to cheer them all the way to the finish line.
These figures tell a story but they cannot fully explain the impact the Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Marathon has on those runners who take part. Words cannot express how meaningful this race is for them nor the emotions that they feel when they start a race with 180 cheering stations that lead them on towards a magical finish. The last few dozen metres of the race is on a blue-carpeted causeway specifically built each year to allow runners to feel as if they are walking — or running — on water as they cross the pool outside the modernistic architecture of the ‘City of Arts and Sciences’.
Every goal runners attain, every award the race receives, every moment, every story, every person makes the Valencia experience exceptional. The most painstaking attention to detail is the key for the success of this race. Reading, watching or listening about the marathon is fleeting but feeling it live is forever. The main concern of the organisers is to provide every runner with wonderful memories from the race so that when they go back home it lives on with them. Because each and every one of them contributes to the continual improvement of the Valencia Marathon.
On the days before the race, a runner’s expo is held in the City of Arts and Sciences. Expo Deporte is an innovation which has taken Valencia is to the forefront of the European running scene. The event is designed so that both athletes and sports enthusiasts can enjoy the marathon experience even if they do not take part in it. There are many activities programmed for those two days. More than 140 stands display brands and offer shopping, talks, presentations, sports events, music and cuisine for all ages and tastes.
More than 40,000 people visit the expo every year and they make the most of a memorable weekend, with events such as Paella Party, Mini Marathon, Breakfast Run and IMPULS-A Valencia.
After the success of the Valencia Marathon this year, runners are looking forward to signing up for the next edition which has been confirmed for Sunday 19 November. Registration is now open at: www.valenciaciudaddelrunning.com
There are two major international races held each year in the ‘City of Running’: the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon takes place a month before the Marathon. Next year it will be on 22 October 2017.
Both races aim to maintain the same organisational standard which has led to both the Marathon and the Half Marathon being named by the RFEA as the best races at their respective distances.