17 de October de 2021
HAFTU TEKLU WINS AND SETS NEW RECORD FOR BARCELONA HALF MARATHON COURSE
- The Ethiopian athlete wins in his first 21 km race ever and sets the new Barcelona course record: 59:39
- Kenyan Sandrafelis Tuei, aged 23, takes the women’s race: 1:07:12
Barcelona, October 17, 2021. 10,000 runners have enjoyed once again the eDreams MItja Marató Barcelona (Barcelona Half Marathon), a classic running event in the city and organized by Barcelona Town Council and Barcelona-based company RPM Sports. Ten thousand runners and ten thousand stories, each one with its own challenge. All runners had a reason to smile today, as they have been able to run again and enjoy Barcelona. The city has welcomed with open arms each and everyone of those who have challenged the distance of a half marathon.
With a perfect day to run, start was given at 08:30. The smiles on the faces of all runners denoted the desire for “Mitja” spread all around. From the first to the last and each one with his or her own objetive such as to debut, to set a new personal best, to take part in the race with friends or family, to prepare for Barcelona Marathon next month or simply to enjoy running through the streets of Barcelona. As weather was perfect, streets were also filled with more citizens than ever before encouraging all runners.
In his first half marathon ever, 26 year old Haftu Teklu run a super-fast last kilometer and beat favourite athlete Stephen Kissa, from Uganda. Teklu even set a remarkable new course record (59:39), five seconds faster than the previous one, set by Ethiopian Mule Wasihun (59:44, 2018).
Teklu shown his intentions since the very beginning of the race. He set 14:04 at kilometer 5, almost 20 seconds faster than Wasihun in 2018. The leading group showed Teklu, Aron Kifle, Matthew Chekwurui, Abel Sikowo and Stephen Kissa. They passed kilometer 10 in 28:08 and it was quite clear that something big was going to happen. At kilometer 15 Kissa and Teklu were left alone and set an amazing 42:19, almost half a minute faster than Wasihun at that point. The last kilometer by Teklu was simply amazing and the Ethiopian made it to reach the finish line all alone and set the new course record: 59:39. This means a pace of 2:50 per kilometer. Second place went to Stephen Kissa (1:00:19) and Chala Regasa was third: 1:00:38.
Haftu Teklu: “I am very happy. I have set Barcelona course record in my first half marathon ever! Pacers worked perfectly until kilometer 15 and then it has been a face-to-face against Kissa. Fortunately I managed to break away and it worked out well. The course here is extremely fast and weather was good. I liked Barcelona very much!”
As for the women’s class, young Sandrafelis Tuei -the athlete with the third best time in half marathon today in Barcelona’s start line- took victory following a very consistent race. She smashed her previous personal best (1:08:14) by more than a minute (1:07:12). Kilometer 10 was to decide the race. Tuei increased her pace and the leading group with Tuei, Kipkoech, Awoke, Samuel, Chelangat and Nyaboke started to spread along. At kilometer 15 only Tuei, Kipkoech and Awoke remained in the race lead, but Awoke wasn’t able to stay there for long. So it was only Kipkoech and Tuei to fight for race victory.
“At kilometer 19 I felt strong and decided to rush until crossing the finish line”, said Sandrafelis Tuei, winner with 1:07:12. Second place went to Brillian Kipkoech (1:07:31) and Asnakech Awoke was third (1:07:48).
Sandrafelis Tuei: “This is my first race ever in Barcelona and I feel very happy and also thankful to the people in this city. They cheered me a lot! The course is amazing, very fast and I have really enjoyed it. Today I felt very strong, and that’s the reason why I won the race and improved my personal best in half marathon at the same time. It’s been a fantastic day. I look forward to coming back here again soon!”.