18 de February de 2023
The 33rd eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona arrives with more than 21,000 people registered and an elite of prestige
•The 19th of February edition has the second-highest participation and the one with the highest number of women in the history of the event.
• Haftu Teklu is looking for a third consecutive victory to make history, while Joyciline Jepkosgei and Genzebe Dibaba will challenge each other to try to break the women’s record.
• In 2022, this course set some of the world’s best times of the year and is one of the few half-marathons in the world with Gold Label.
17.02.2023 – The eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona 2023 will enter into history. This Sunday 19th of February the 33rd edition of the Barcelona half-marathon will be held, which two weeks before the race had already sold out the available bib-numbers with 21,477 registrations, the second-highest number in the history of this race and which brings it back to the pre-pandemic levels in terms of runners. The other record figure is the number of absolute female participation, which this year has reached an all-time record with 7,350 women registered, with a percentage of 35% amount the total number of participants, as in the previous edition.
These numbers are complemented by a youthful atmosphere, because more than half of the participants in this 2023 edition are under 45 years old, and with 33% of foreign participation, as in the last edition, but with a much more diverse origin with 101 nationalities represented, the double of the previous year. In addition, the fast and urban circuit of the eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona is ideal to beat the clock over this distance.
Last year, the Barcelona Half Marathon shared with the Valencia Half Marathon the title of the two fastest Spanish half-marathons and one of the few half-marathons in the world with the IAAF Gold Label. In 2022, the eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona set five marks among the Top-25 in the world: in 17th position with the time of the current winner Haftu Teklu (59:06), in 20th and 21st, Chala Regasa (59:10) and Elvis Kipchoge Cheboi (59:15), second and third classified respectively, and the fourth and fifth places of Antenayeh Dagnachew (59:17) and Derseh Kindie (59:18) occupy the 23rd and 24th positions in the World Athletics ranking.
Haftlu Teklu wants to win the hat-trick
Two victories and two consecutive records in the last two editions of the eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona guarantee the favouritism of Haftu Teklu to win his third consecutive victory in a circuit that he already knows by heart and that seems to be in his reach if the race does not break before facing, from Marina area, the final stretch of the Passeig Pujades. The Ethiopian made his debut in the 21 km with a victory in 59:39 minutes for the 2021 edition, setting a new course record. And in 2022, he won again with a devastating final attack and shaved 33 seconds off his best time to set a new course record of 59:06′.
Like Teklu, Jacob Yator (2007 and 2008) and Eliud Kipchoge (2013 and 2014) have won the Barcelona Half Marathon twice in a row, also setting course records in their first appearance. But no male athlete has won three times. So far, only two women have achieved a hat-trick in this event: the Spanish Eva Sanz, between 1999 and 2001, and the Kenyan Florence Kiplagat in 2016, after beating the world record in 2014 and 2015, plus achieving a fourth victory in 2017.
Among the strongest opponents for Haftu Teklu, two athletes stand out on merit: his compatriot Birhanu Legese, with a personal best of 59:20′ in half-marathon, winner in two editions of the Tokyo Marathon (2019 and 2020) and with a personal best in marathon 02: 02:48h; and the Dutch Abdi Nageeye, runner-up in the Olympic marathon in Tokyo 2021, only beaten in the Japanese capital by Kipchoge, who added his second Olympic title to confirm his status as one of the best marathon runners of the 21st century.
Haftu Teklu: “I want the hat-trick and I’m ready to get it”.
Birhanu Legese: “It’s my first time in Barcelona and I’m here to set a new race record”.
Abdi Nageeye: “A good test for running a marathon is to run the eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona. I have heard that the last kilometre is complicated, but I will do my best to put my name on the record of this race”.
Dibaba-Jepkosgei duel points to Florence Kiplagat’s record
In the women’s category, two different styles will be the protagonists of a long-awaited head-to-head on the Catalan capital’s asphalt: Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba and Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei. The goal of both athletes is the same: to beat the half-marathon world record set by Kiplagat (1:05:09h) at the eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona in 2015.
Genzebe Dibaba belongs to a family that has been triumphing in the sport since 1992, when Ethiopian Derartu Tulu won the first Olympic gold medal won by an East African woman at the Barcelona Olympic Games. Tulu is a cousin of this athlete, who is also the sister of Tirunesh Dibaba, the great runner of the 21st century due to her career and results on the track. The youngest of the Dibaba’s family was about to compete in the last edition of the Barcelona Half Marathon, but she got injured beforehand. She recovered in time to make a successful debut at the Amsterdam Marathon in October, finishing in 2h and 18 minutes, adding this good time to her world records in 1500, 3000 and 5000 m. And now, she wants to compete in Barcelona as the prelude to the London’s Marathon she will run in April.
Like many other athletes, Joyciline Jepkosgei has also chosen this race to make sure that her preparation for the Zurich Marató Barcelona that is held next 19th of March is the right one. A victory against Dibaba would confirm her readiness. And Jepkosgei has the background to do so, holding a world Half Marathon silver medal at Valencia 2018 and having achieved three world records at 10 km, 15 km and 20 km at the 2017 Prague Half Marathon, as well as having won the London 2021 and New York 2019 marathons.
Genzebe Dibaba: “I am very excited to be here. I have changed the track for asphalt and I want to achieve my personal best in half-marathon here, in Barcelona”.
Joyciline Jepkosgei: “I hope to do my best at this distance. On Sunday, I will run with the aim of beating the record of the eDreams Mitja Marató Barcelona”.