Home > Runs & Races

Valencia Marathon announces strongest elite fields of 2020

These stacked fields include Canadian Evan Esselink

The Valencia half and full marathons are set to run on December 6 as elite-only races, and they will make for a must-see event. The start lists are quite impressive, especially in the case of the women, where the fields might be even stronger than they were at the London Marathon. On the men’s side, the fields will see over 30 runners with personal bests under 2:10. Evan Esselink is the lone Canadian representative. The 2:18 marathoner will be looking to run a personal best and possibly secure the Olympic qualification time of 2:11:30. Two Canadian men have secured standard thus far – Trevor Hofbauer and Tristan Woodfine

Evan Esselink at lululemon Edmonton 10k 2019. Photo: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

RELATED: Kent, Wodak continue stellar seasons ahead of December marathon

Esselink first appeared on the roads in 2015 when he ran a 1:04:53 half-marathon in Indianapolis. He has since lowered his personal best considerably, running a 1:02:17 in 2019. He’s run only one marathon, finishing STWM 2019 in 2:18:38. 

Genzebe Dibaba
Photo: Augustas Didžgalvis

The women’s field

In the half-marathon, one of the world’s greatest-ever track runners Genzebe Dibaba is making her debut alongside Letesenbet Gidey, the new 5,000m world record-holder. Emily Sisson will also be in the mix, one of America’s budding new talents on the road. Sisson has a 1:07:30 personal best in the event (and has run a 2:23 marathon). 

The marathon field includes headliners Joyciline Jepkosgei, Ruti Aga, Peres Jepchirchir and American Jordan Hasay. Jepkosgei is the 10K world record-holder, Aga is one of the fastest-ever women’s marathoners (2:18:34), Jepchirchir is the reigning world half-marathon champion and Hasay has been hunting the American marathon record for over two years. While Hasay owns the second-fastest women’s marathon time in U.S. history, her recent results have been disappointing by her standards. The runner most recently finished 26th at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2020. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The full line up can be found here

Photo: Instagram/Julien Wanders

 The men’s field

In the men’s half-marathon, 10K world record-holder Rhonex Kipruto is set to make his debut. He’ll face world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo, Kibiwott Kandie and four-time Swiss national record-holder Julien Wanders

The marathon fields will see a total of 35 runners with personal bests under 2:10 – a remarkably deep field, running at a pace that is sure to see many people qualify for the Olympics. Beyond running standard, the top 10 men and women in the marathon will automatically achieve standard as this is a platinum-level race.  The front runners will be 2:02 marathoner Birhanu Legese, Lawrence Cherono and Lelisa Desisa

The full line up can be found here

RELATED: Jepchirchir sets new women’s-only world record, wins World Championships