EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Maratón & ½ beats its own participation record and achieves the best time for the 21.097m on Madrid soil.

MAD_16_BETHKE l(17 of 28)Excellent conditions. Sun, light breeze and the temperature hovering around 8°C at the start of the race. An ideal type of day to enjoy a Sunday, grab a drink, go for a walk … or beat records. The latter was chosen by the grand running festival in Madrid, by the 33,611 vocational distance runners who for weeks had submitted their dreams, sweat, an occasional tear, to the asphalt of the capital. A new quantitative participation record. And a qualitative record too, as a race against time, as the Kenyan Abraham Kiptum, with a mark of 1:01:52, achieved the best mark ever accomplished in the city for the popular distance of 21 kilometers and 97 meters. He retired with his powerful and stylish the record of 1:02:08 his compatriot Eliud Kipserem achieved in the Half Marathon Villa de Madrid four years ago.

This intermediate distance, the last to join the event the most attended 42km in Spain, was highlighted by the presence the of the best Spanish marathoner right now, Javier Guerra, who with a mark of 1:04:35 (5th overall and first European), showed that he is still operating at an optimal level two months after his first big achievement of the year (Tokyo Marathon) and four months before his next great challenge: the Olympics. Betweeb Eliud and Javier, the runners who crossed the finish line were Kenyans Silas Muturi Gochovi (1:02:06), David Kwemoi (1:02:11) and Moses Kipkosgei Bowen (1:04:21).

MAD_16_BETHKE l(18 of 28)With regards to the women, Morocco took him the victory thanks to the performance of Koutar Boulaid, qualified for the 42km in Rio, who dominated with a time of 1:16:50, a showing far superior to that of the Kenyan Marion Jepkirui (1:18:27) and Vanessa Veiga; whose draining recovery from a recurring injury resulted in an inspiring finish in 1:28:21. Worthy of praise is the Galician, the only person able to boast having under her belt the three distances of EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & ½ Madrid.

The shorter version of the event, the 10K, was a call to the future due to the triumph of Carlos Mayo. The Aragonese, continental runner under 23 years of age, with an excellent lap time of 30:53 (considering that just last winter he was battling physical ailments) left the second step of the podium at the mercy of Ivan Fernandez (31:21), who finished seventh one weak earlier in the Hamburg Marathon. The podium was filled by Miguel Ángel Ruiz Lopez (32:11).

Among the girls we witnessed the second victory of Isabel Macías. The runner-up European indoor 1,500m has taken a liking to the route. Two years ago, she debuted with a victory in the same race and today has repeated herself cutting the ribbon at 37:01. Jimena Martin (38:22) and Rocio Fernandez (38:53) followed her to the podium.

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And so we arrive to the 42km. An hommage to Filípides, those who give life to the desire of the city by collecting miles, starting nearly 40 years ago. It was a tactical and exciting race in which a large group, six athletes, arrived at kilometer 35, the moment of truth, with the possibility of claiming victory. Three places on the podium and three leftovers. The core of athletics, when everyone knows that in this business there are as many winners as participants. But things being as they are, there has to be a winner, and at the end that was Kenya. In this case it was personified in the victory of Peter Kiplagat, with a superb time of 2:11:44, considering that Madrid, while beautiful and lively, is also rough, succession of hills that make the challenge to make it under 2:10 a fantastic adventure (2:09:15 was the top mark today). He assured his victory in the last section, smelling already the Parque del Retiro, when he hit another gear that could not be matched by Patrick Kibet Cheruiyot (2:11:50) and Alphonce Kibiwot (2:12:17). We had to wait a little longer to applaud the first Spaniard, Fran España (12th with 2:25:38, accompanied by his brother Jesus, another whose times have qualified for Rio, who also made awesome efforts as pacemaker for the first two thirds of the course).

The women’s race belonged to another country that is synonymous with talent in shoes, Ethiopia. Askale Alemayehu placed first (2:33:08), distancing herself in the last 10km from her traveling companions of the first phase, the Ethiopian Abebech Tsegay (2:40:33) and Kenyan Vivian Jerono Kiplagat (2: 42:22). The first Spaniard was Elena Ugena, sixth overall in 2:49:30.

Other interesting numbers to take into account are the 28% of women participating in the event (49% of the 10K) and the 9,000 foreign runners who participated, showing that the aggressive rhythm of guitars that resonated throughout Madrid today was a success in everyway possible.