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Is Valencia the fastest city in the world?

In 2020 alone, Valencia has been the site of five world records

On Sunday, Kibiwott Kandie broke the half-marathon world record in Valencia, where he ran an incredible 57:32. This shattered the previous record of 58:01, which Geoffrey Kamworor set in 2018. Kandie’s run marked the seventh time in just the last few years that a world record has been broken in Valencia, which raises the question: is Valencia the ultimate world record-breaking city? Below is each record broken in the Spanish city (which is actually referred to as the City of Running) since 2018, proving that Valencia’s got to be among the best options for elite runners looking to make history. 

Abraham Kiptum’s asterisked half-marathon

In October 2018, Kenya’s Abraham Kiptum set the half-marathon world record in Valencia, posting a 58:18. Unfortunately, he was later banned for irregularities in his biological passport, and his world record (which was beaten by Kamworor before the scandal became public) was stripped from his resume. 

RELATED: By the numbers: Kibiwott Kandie’s record-shattering run in Valencia

Cheptegei’s 10K record

In December 2019, Joshua Cheptegei ran the 10K world record in Valencia, posting a 26:38 to beat Leonard Komon‘s nine-year-old mark by six seconds. This result kicked off an incredible 12 months of running for Cheptegei that saw three more world records, one of which was also in Valencia (see below). 

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Kipruto’s double record run 

In January, just a few weeks after Cheptegei ran his 10K record, Rhonex Kipruto set the 5K world record at a 10K race in — you guessed it — Valencia. He ran an amazing time of 13:18, which beat the previous record by four seconds. Another short 13 minutes later, Kipruto (who didn’t stop running after his initial world record split) crossed the finish line in a 10K world record of 26:24. This smashed Cheptegei’s record by 14 seconds. Not only that, but Kipruto ran his second 5K even faster than his first, posting a 13:06 split. World Athletics said this second 5K was not ratifiable as an official result (although his first split did eventually become the 5K record, which was broken by Cheptegei in Monaco a month later), but he still ran a time much faster than the previous world record, meaning he pretty much ran three world-record times in less than half an hour of work. 

RELATED: Underdog Evans Chebet runs massive personal best to out kick Lawrence Cherono in Valencia

NN Valencia World Record Day

What better place to hold an event titled World Record Day than the city of world records? The meet was created specifically for Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey to set a pair of world records, and they were both successful. Gidey kicked off the night with the second world record of her career (she also owns the 15K record) as she ran 5,000m in a blazing-fast 14:06.62. This beat the previous best mark, set by Triunesh Dibaba in 2008, by five seconds. Not long after Gidey left the track, Cheptegei ran a 10,000m, ultimately smashing Kenenisa Bekele‘s 15-year-old record by six seconds with his final time of 26:11.00. 

Kandie’s half-marathon

Kandie’s run on Sunday was amazing enough, but what’s even more incredible is the fact that three other men also beat Kamworor’s record, all posting sub-58-minute results. If you change the angle that you look at Valencia’s world record tally, those three extra results could also count (pushing the total to 10 world records in the city since 2018), seeing as they still beat the pre-existing record that stood when they started the race that morning. Kandie won the race, followed by Jacob Kiplimo in second (57:37), the earlier mentioned 10K world record holder Kipruto in third (57:49) and Alexander Mutiso in fourth (57:59). 

RELATED: Why is Valencia known as the City of Running?