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Half marathon WR holder Letesenbet Gidey to make marathon debut this fall

Gidey currently holds the world record in the 5,000m, 10,000m, 15K and half marathon

Photo by: Pat Holleran/Shannon Digital Imaging

The fastest female distance runner in the world under the marathon will now be stepping up to the 42.2-kilometre distance. The four-time world record holder from Ethiopia, Letesenbet Gidey, will finally make her debut in the marathon at the 2022 Valencia Marathon on Dec. 4.

On May 11, Gidey announced on her Instagram page that she will be stepping up to the marathon distance. Valencia has been a lucky location for the 24-year-old, as she set two of her four world records (5,000m and half marathon) in the Spanish city.

The first time Gidey stepped up the half-marathon distance last October, she became the first woman to dip under the 64 and 63-minute barriers, clocking 1:02:52. In June 2021, Gidey also set the world record in the 10,000m in 29:01, then later went on to win the silver in the women’s 10,000m at the Toyko Olympics, outkicked for gold by Sifan Hassan.

According to Jack Daniels VDOT performance tables, which predict an athlete’s performance based on previous performance, Gidey’s half marathon world record of 1:02:52 translates to a sub 2:12 marathon. Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei currently holds the world record for the marathon with 2:14:04, which she ran at the Chicago Marathon in 2019.

A landscape shot of the Valencia Marathon

Kosgei was also the silver medallist in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics.

Gidey is the first of many big names who will participate in the 42nd edition of the Valencia Marathon.

Who knows what she will run come December on Valencia’s flat and fast marathon course, but certainly Kosgei’s world record could be under threat.