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20 de February de 2023

Charles Kipkkurui Langat and Irine Jepchumba set new race records in the eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona 2023

• Kenyan Charles Kipkkurui Langat surprises and sets a new fastest time of the race in 58:51′
• In the women’s category, another Kenyan, Irine Jepchumba, also beat the record set by Florence Kiplagat in 2015, crossing the finish line in 01:04:37h.
• More than 17,500 participants took part in a great day, with 35% female participation and a third of international participants.

19.02.2023 – Barcelona has lived a real running party this morning with the 33rd eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona.17.855 runners, with the highest number of participation in the history of the race, have taken the start in Arc de Triomf at 08:30h with a temperature of 8ºC and a 58% of humidity in a fresh but sunny day.

The race, organised by Ajuntament de Barcelona and RPM Sports, also had a record number of women runners (7,350, 35% of the total number of participants) and a third (33%) of international runners, coming from up to 101 different nationalities. Likewise, the city of Barcelona has been involved in the event, encouraging the participants in the twenty animation points along the more than 21 kilometres of the circuit, and has enjoyed the lively start that the Catalan musicians Liberto Fortuny and Mireia Farrés, with their saxophone and trumpet, respectively, have enlivened.

Double record of the race signed by Charles Kipkkurui Langat and Irine Jepchumba
Against all forecasts, the Kenyan Charles Kipkkurui Lengat has won the eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona 2023 with a time of 58:53′, to set a new record in the Barcelona’s Mitja, 13 seconds faster than the record set last year by Haftu Teklu (59.06′). In second position, the Ethiopian Birhanu Legese (58:59′) has also beaten Teklu’s best time from last year and the third position was for the equally Kenyan Solomon Kirwa Yego (59:29′).

Accompanied by the pacers, the leading group led by Legese passed kilometre 5 in 14:03′, 10 seconds faster than in the previous edition, with the withdrawal at this point of Teklu, the winner of this race in 2021 and 2022. Kipkkurui and Legese reached kilometre 10 in 27:54′, two seconds slower than in 2022, and passed kilometre 15 in 41:51′. Both have faced the last kilometres of the circuit hand in hand, so that finally Kipkkurui Langat, in the final sprint, has won.

Charles Kipkkurui Langat“It’s my first time in Barcelona and to break the race record makes me very happy, I didn’t expect it. I congratulate the organisation because the circuit is very fast. I hope to be able to come back next year”.

In the women’s category, Kenyans Irine Jepchumba Kimais and Joyciline Jepkosgei fought an exciting duel in which Jepchumba ended up beating the race record set in 2015 by Florence Kiplagat (1:05:09h), improving it by 32 seconds with a time of 01:04:37h. The athletes, both from Kenya, passed km 5 in 15:19′, 19 seconds faster than in the previous edition. Already at km 10 in 30:37′, they were more than 20 seconds faster than the time at this point of the women’s elite in 2022, with the Jepchumba-Jepkosgei duo outperforming their rivals.

At kilometre 15, the Kenyan athletes passed in 45:58′, 36 seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s runner Genzebe Dibaba, so that, finally, Jepchumba crossed the finish line in 01:04:37h, setting a new women’s best time of the race and beating Kiplagat’s mark of 2015. The women’s podium was completed by two other Kenyans, Joyceline Jepkosgei as second in 01:04:46h and also improving Kiplagat’s time, and Catherine Reline as third best classified (01:05:39h).

Irine Jepchumba Kimais“When I was given the opportunity to come to Barcelona, I didn’t hesitate. I have reached the finish line giving my best and it is incredible to have beaten my compatriot Kiplagat’s record, which has stood for eight years”.

On the other hand, the best Catalan male runner was Abdenasser Oukhelfen, resident in Reus and the 15th best male runner, stopping the stopwatch in 01:02:51h. In addition, the fastest Catalan female runner was Mireia Guarner -12th woman in the general classification- (01:13:33h). Also, the former Minister of Health and current member of the Catalan Parliament as head of the opposition, Salvador Illa, did not want to miss this running party in Barcelona either. He finished in 01:39:16h: “There is a great atmosphere, people are out in the streets and I have enjoyed it a lot. It has served me as a test because I am thinking about running the Zurich Marató Barcelona next month, on Father’s Day, 19th of March”.

The inclusive aspect of the eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona 2023 has counted on the participation of Alex Roca, the athlete with a 76% of physical disability who has crossed the finish line in 02:38:28h running together with the Spanish journalist and ultra marathon runner Valentí Sanjuan to participate for the third time in this race and to get ready to become the first athlete with cerebral palsy in running the 42,195km of the Zurich Marató Barcelona next 19th of March.

Likewise, Eric Domingo and Silvia Roldán, who hold the current Guinness Marathon record for pushing a wheelchair, achieved last December in the Valencia Marathon in 2:52:39h (an achievement they already achieved in 2021 also in the Zurich Marató Barcelona with a time of 02:53:28h), have finished this edition, the fourth in which both of them are participating, in 01:24:05h.

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