Golden Birthday

More than 35,800 runners celebrate the 40th anniversary of the EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon & 1/2, which this year premiered the IAAF Gold Label.

The winners: the Ethiopian Bonsa Dida (2:10:16) in men and the Kenyan Elizabeth Cheokanan Rumokol (2:33:55) in women.

Joseph Kiprono Kiptum (Ken) wins in the half marathon and hits the test record and 21,097 km on Madrid soil leaving him in 1:01:46.

Madrid awoke and in the streets the smell was special. Spring welcomed on April 23 that would serve to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of the most representative events of the capital: the EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon & 1/2. And not only that, but the test, as a birthday gift and for the almost 36,000 runners to enjoy it, was to release the Gold Label, IAAF’s highest distinction as regards road races .

And all that was noticeable in the environment. Because these things, although some do not assume, they are noticed. The level on the starting line was greater, the details more careful than ever and the weather, as if wanting to wink at the event, was perfect for the occasion. It was 8:30 in the morning and Cibeles cheered the tension.

They started first the runners of the 10K, then those of the half marathon and, finally, as in that distant 1978, the heroes of 42 kilometers and 195 meters. A distance that would be commanded by the African athletes with the exception of a Carles Castillejo who arrived in Madrid to meet again with his beloved distance.

What of the African superiority was demonstrated more than Bonsa Dida (ETH) being imposed with an overwhelming clarity thanks to a clock of 2:10:16. On the podium were also Ethiopian Belete Mekonen (2:13:04) and Kenyan Ronald Kipkoech Korir (2:13:07). Castillejo, after a hard race, finished seventh with 2:15:05. In women the nationalities were reversed, with two Kenyans and one Ethiopian in the drawer: Elizabeth Chepkanan Rumokol (2:33:55), Joan Jepchirchir Kigen (2:34:41) and Bedatu Hirpa (2:34:47).

For the half-marathon the African dominance was not going to be less and, in a test that this year had 15,000 participants, the Kenyan Joseph Kiprono Kiptum (1:01: 44). His compatriot Samuel Ndiritu Kariuki (1:01:50) and the Ugandan Ben Chelimo (1:01:54) completed the places of honor. The athlete of Baréin Tejitu Daba (1:11:29) prevailed on Aroa Merino (1:18:07) and Vanessa Veiga (1:29:29, new podium for the only person who has in his palm the three distances of the event).

In the 10-kilometer test the fastest was one of the Spanish athletes with more future, Carlos Mayo (30:34). He was followed by marathon runner Iván Fernández (30:49) and Sergio Salinero (31:24), a classic in the Madrid trials. The women’s triumph came to the hands of French Mélanie Doutart (36:36) followed by Jimena Martín (36:53) and Laura Serres (37:44). Fourth came the Olympic triathlete Zuriñe Rodríguez (38:04), who this year acted as ambassador of the event.

This closes the 40th anniversary of the EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon & 1/2, which in 2017 signed its most international edition, as 10,379 of the runners have been foreigners from 100 different countries. And not only that, but the presence of women surpassed for the first time the 30% of the registered ones (in the 10K the women were the 49% of the participants).