Olympics champion, Joshua Cheptegei, is gearing up for his much-anticipated marathon debut at the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso this Sunday.
The 27-year-old, renowned for his outstanding achievements on the track, including three world 10,000m titles and the Olympic 5000m gold, has also made history by breaking world records at both 5000m and 10,000m.
Valencia holds a special place in Cheptegei’s athletic journey, having witnessed his remarkable performance in 2019 when he set the world 10km road record. Additionally, he secured his enduring world 10,000m mark of 26:11.00 in 2020 on this very track.
Currently in form after extensive altitude training in Kapchorwa leading up to the race, Cheptegei expressed his cautious approach to the marathon distance, stating, “I’m not actually looking at running fast times because it is still a new distance for me, and I’m still learning also in training. I want to learn… and the best for me would be seeing myself being on the podium.”
He further added, “I want to approach this marathon with a lot of respect as it is something new for me. I want to approach it in a new dimension. All of us are built differently; what is important for me is to just enjoy the race and see what happens after 35 kilometres.”
Despite Cheptegei’s formidable presence, Sunday’s marathon promises stiff competition from notable contenders such as Kenenisa Bekele, Gabriel Geay of Tanzania, Alexander Mutiso of Kenya, Getaneh Molla of Ethiopia, Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia, Leul Gebresilase of Ethiopia, Chalu Deso of Ethiopia, Dawit Wolde of Ethiopia, Daniel do Nascimento of Brazil, Chalu Deso of Ethiopia, and Titus Kipruto of Kenya.
The Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso which starts at 10 am is poised to be a thrilling event, as fans eagerly anticipate how Cheptegei will fare in his debut at the challenging marathon distance.