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BARCELONA SMASHES ITS OWN RECORDS IN A EDREAMS MITJA MARATÓ FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS

16/02/2020

• Kenyan Victor Chumo (59:58) and Ethiopian Ashete Bekere (1:06:37) take the spoils.

• 23,000 athletes fill the streets of Barcelona in a huge celebration of running.

• 134 runners finish in under 1:10, showing just how fast the circuit in Barcelona is.

 

Barcelona did it again. The city was at its best for the 30th edition of the eDreams Mitja Marató de Barcelona, one that will go down in history. A record-breaking 23,000 runners were on the start line of what is one of the best half marathons in the world. The race attracted over 10,000 athletes from abroad (45%) and 7,500 women (32.6%), both new records, proving the growing enthusiasm for the event and its international prestige.

Kenyan Victor Chumo turned in a stellar performance to claim victory, dipping under the one-hour mark with a time of 59:58 that makes him the second fastest runner in the history of the race. Chumo narrowly outsprinted Ugandan Stephen Kissa and fellow Kenyan Moses Koech, both of whom finished in exactly one hour.

"Winning feels great, but knocking a minute off my time feels even better. I loved both the race and the course. The circuit is very fast. I've been trying to dip under 60 minutes for a long time and today I finally did it", said Chumo at the finish.

In the women's category, 2019 winner and big favourite Roza Dereje ran out of steam at kilometre 17 and was unable to challenge fellow Ethiopians Ashete Bekere (1:06:37) and Asnakech Awoke (1:07:04) for the win. Kenyan Dorcas Kimeli (1:07:10) took third, while Dereje came in fourth in a time of 1:08:38. "I'm happy to have finished first on a beautiful course in a city with a fantastic atmosphere. I'm really grateful", said an elated Bekere after claiming the race.

The fastest Spanish man, Dani Mateo, posted a fantastic time of 1:02:35, good enough to qualify for the Half Marathon World Championships that will take place in Poland on 29 March. The runner from Soria, who has also qualified for the marathon in the Olympics, came in sixteenth. The fastest Spanish woman was Laura Méndez (1:13:19), who finished ahead of Gemma Barrachina (1:13:33) and Diana Martín (1:14:00). Martín is transitioning to marathons after an illustrious career in the 3000 metres steeplechase.

200 elite athletes took part in the World Athletics Gold Label half marathon. The circuit was just as fast as expected, with 48 runners dipping under 1:05 and 134 under 1:10.

Juan Porcar, the CEO of the organiser RPM-MKTG, was delighted with how the race went. "The eDreams Mitja Marató de Barcelona is going from strength to strength. Our course design and organisational structure is turning the Barcelona half marathon into a reference for amateurs who love this sport at home and abroad. In fact, 45% of the runners in this year's race came from other countries. Our ambition with this circuit is to keep setting great times and start eyeing the world record in the not too distant future."