Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw Sunday won a windy 10K Valencia Ibercaja marathon in missing the World record by 5 seconds. The men’s race winner Weldon Langatfrom Kenya ran 26:55.Unlike last year in Castellón when she set the current world record of 29:14, Yalemzerf opted for a conservative start on Sunday.
The opening 2km was covered in 5:56 with Kenya’s Jesca Chelangat still running at Yehualaw’s shoulder.
The pace increased slightly in the third kilometer as they reached in 8:51; shortly afterwards Chelangat began to lose ground on Yalemzerf as the Ethiopian passed through 4km alone in 11:52, a strong headwind contributing to the slowest kilometer of the race.
Yehualaw increased her pace during the second half, covering most kilometers in 2:53-2:54 and reaching 8km in 23:29.
After another swift 2:53 kilometer, the Ethiopian was unable to maintain that same cadence over the final kilometer but still held on to finish in 29:19, the second-fastest 10km performance in history.
The 23-year-old commented she was a bit disappointed for not having broken the world record but satisfied with her brave effort.
Kenya’s Chelangat finished just outside the 30-minute barrier (30:01) with her compatriot Esther Borura completing a quality podium in 30:15.