Amane Beriso, winner in Valencia with the third best mark in history.Kai FORSTERLING (EFE)
The Valencia marathon was the marathon of all wonders, as had been announced with intense
, although not all of them were as expected.
There were records of all kinds, of the test, of Spain, of the fastest marathons ever run in Spain, there were historical records, and there was a collapse, that of the acclaimed star the day before, the Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey, defeated.
If Gidey had broken the announced world record in his debut in the Valencia marathon, the world would have admired his feat, his mouth open, his hiccups healed, and yet his astonishment would be even less than the one he produced, accompanied by perplexity. and a sudden and painful loss of innocence, the final result of the race with the collapse of the phenomenal Gidey in the wall at kilometer 36, before completing two hours of the race, and the unexpected brilliance of his Ethiopian compatriot Amane Beriso, who won with a time of 2h 14m 58s, the third best mark in history (54s from the world record).
She is the third woman, after the record holder Brigid Kosgei (2h 14m 4s) and the also Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich (2h 14.18s), who has run the 42.195 kilometers in less than 2h 15m.
Someone explain it, the experts clamored, how is it possible that Beriso, a 31-year-old athlete, with a best mark of 2h 20m 48s, achieved six years ago, who has not only run two marathons since 2020, the last one, in Mexico last August, has been able to do this.
And no one knew what to answer.
At the limit of your reserves
Almost two minutes later, 111 seconds lost in six kilometres, she, who is a metronome, arrives Gidey, who, dizzy, practically faints after crossing the finish line, forced her body to the limit of her reserves (and wise men remember that, clueless, she could not take her precious liquid at the first refreshment, which surely left her mark), but, at least, the world record holder of 5,000m, 10,000m and half marathon, achieved, with a time of 2h 16m 49s, the best mark never achieved by a rookie (the previous one, 2h 17m 20s, by Almaz Ayana) and the fifth in history.
The morning was also happy not only for the 30,000 popular runners who completed the test but also for a young Kenyan, who turned 23 on Friday, Kelvin Kiptum, who won the men's test (2h 1m 54s), and a 37-year-old Spaniard named Marta Galimany , the pure definition of a tenacious and persevering marathon runner, the personification of the balance between prudence and daring, the line that must never be crossed, and who, with a time of 2h 26m 14s, broke the Spanish record for the event, one of the oldest records on the national list, held since October 1995 by Ana Isabel Alonso (2h 26m 51s).
Kiptum, a promising rookie because his half marathon mark, already achieved in Valencia two years ago, is 58m 42s, suddenly, after completing his first 42.195 kilometers, he has become, with a time of 2h 1m 53s, the third fastest marathon runner fastest in history, in one of only three, together with the untouchable record holder Eliud Kipchoge (2h 1m 9s), and the legendary Kenenisa Bekele (2h 1m 41s), who has dropped from 2h 2m, a mark that until recently seemed impossible.
Kiptum played with the hares, more aware of the world champion, the Ethiopian Tamirat Tola, than of any, and they left everyone stranded just after kilometer 25.
Then, Kiptum, exuberant, began to play with everyone as Zatopek did, who in his first marathon, that of the Helsinki 52 Games, asked his rivals if they didn't think the pace was too high for such a long race, and while they looked at each other in bewilderment, he accelerated and left them pinned.
Thus Kiptum, who at kilometer 30 looks at Tola and the Tanzanian Gabriel Geay, the last survivors, and gestures for them to keep up the pace a bit, which he cannot.
Since no one pays attention to him, he speeds up and checks that it's not because they didn't want to but because they can't.
“Hehe,” says Kiptum, who trains alone in Kenya.
"Seeing them like this, I said to myself, well, I'm going alone."
Gidey runs in such a way, so smooth, so serene, his rhythm so regular, his body so immobile, that only a cheesy or Juan Ramón would find the perfect metaphors, something like poetry in motion, like more than running he slides, he floats, or like that, and by his side all the men who try to keep up with him are chavs, weekenders throwing their mouths.
But she runs for real and at full speed.
A violent speed.
And since he runs like this, and has come out prudent (he passes the half marathon in 67m 18s, a step prior to a second half scheduled in 66 bare minutes, whose rhythm has been nailed down to kilometer 35, and only the stopwatches every five kilometers allow us to know if he is going very quickly or very slowly, because she does not change.
Beriso signed up for the marathon thinking that Letesenbet's presence would benefit him.
The male hares were intended only for her compatriot but she surprised her by sneaking into the circle, and for 35 kilometers she marks the favourite, goes by her side, and hears her breathing and perceives minimal signs of exhaustion, and is capable of knowing that something is wrong wrong in Gidey's mechanism, and she doesn't even have to accelerate, but simply keep up her rhythm to overcome the hares, always pending their teacher, and launch herself towards victory and towards a dazzling mark.
"My head doesn't think as much as my legs when I run," says Tariku Novales, the 24-year-old Galician marathoner, who finished 16th, and the first Spaniard, in a tough fight with the national record holder Ayad Lamdassem, and has He achieved a mark that he had not even calculated, 2h 7m 18s, in the second marathon of his career, a quarter of an hour faster than in Madrid in May.
"I didn't come with anything in my head, just afraid because I was afraid of being injured," adds Novales, trained in Madrid by Juan del Campo and Luismi Berlanas, and a great promise of Spanish athletics since youth with growth that is sometimes more complicated than it I expected.
"I wasn't even thinking of getting into the Lamdassem group, with hares to break the Spanish record (2h 6m 25s) or anything in particular."
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