Amane Beriso pulled off a shock win at the Valencia Marathon to upset debutant and favourite Letesenbet Gidey to become just the third woman ever to break two hours and 15 minutes.

Despite her inexperience over the distance, Gidey was expected to chase a world record of 2:14:04 on debut and was on 2:14:10 pace through 30km.

But it was her compatriot Beriso who kicked on with 10km remaining, producing a stunning time of 2:14:58, the third fastest of all time, with Gidey holding on for second in 2:16:49, the fastest debut ever by a woman.

“I am more than happy. Conditions were perfect for me,” Beriso said, with Briton Paula Radcliffe’s 2003 London time of 2:15:25, a world record which stood for 16 years, now fourth on the all-time list.

There was another surprise in the men’s race, with runners capitalising on near-perfect conditions, as Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum stormed to victory in a sensational 2:01:53 to land the fastest men’s debut in history.

Kenyan athlete Kelvin Kiptum celebrates as he wins the men’s race at the Valencia Marathon


Kiptum turned on the afterburners with less than 10km remaining to negative split with a 60:15 second half, including an astonishing 28:04 10km split from 30-40km.

Kiptum is just the third man to ever break 2:02 behind the legendary Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09) and Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Famed for its fast, flat course, the weather was also kind to those in Valencia, who enjoyed temperatures of 9-10c with barely a gust across the two-and-a-bit hours of racing.

Gabriel Geay (2:03:00) second, Alexander Mutiso (2:03:29) third and Tamirat Tola (2:03:40) fourth, all broke 2:04 in the men’s race, while Sheila Chepkirui (2:17:29) was third and among seven women to break 2:19.

There was also an Australian record for 45-year-old Sinead Diver who clocked 2:21:34 to finish 12th.

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