During his debut marathon, Joshua Cheptegei, the world record holder for 5000m and 10,000m, didn’t perform as anticipated in Valencia.
Uganda’s reigning 5000m Olympic champion faced fatigue in the latter part of the race, finishing 37th in 2:08:59 at the Valencia Marathon on Sunday.
Reflecting on his performance, Cheptegei mentioned, “The marathon marks a new chapter that I embarked on today. Despite the result not aligning with our preparations, I take pride in finishing.”
He added, “Disappointment has strengthened me in the past, serving as a powerful life lesson.”
Cheptegei expressed gratitude to fans, organizers, and his team, stating, “More marathon chapters will follow in the future. Now, I’ll head home, enjoy family time, then focus on preparations for the Paris Olympics.”
Although expected to leave a mark in Valencia where he set previous records, Cheptegei couldn’t maintain his position after an impressive start, falling behind the leading pack after reaching the halfway mark in 60:34.
It’s strong to note that it was in Valencia where Cheptegei set the world 10km road record in 2019 and the still-standing world 10,000m mark of 26:11.00 in 2020.
Ethiopian Sisay Lemma set a new record in the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso, clocking an impressive time of 2:01:48, ranking him as the fourth fastest man in history. This remarkable feat surpassed the prior best time achieved by Kelvin Kiptum in 2022.
Additionally, in the women’s category, Worknesh Degefa emerged victorious, crossing the finish line in 2:15:51.