The Medio Maratón Valencia Trinidad Alfonso Zurich has done it again: this major sports event has touched down with a double Spanish record, both in men and women, and it has also taken more than 19,420 finishers to the skies, surpassing the previous edition’s figure by over 2,000 individuals. It is the fastest half marathon in the world, but the sentiment goes far beyond that: it is a city that comes out in force to run this race, to cheer on the runners, to fully experience the sport. Valencia is the Running City, and in the After team, we are proud to be able to work on such a monumental project that challenges us to push our limits day by day.
An unprecedented sports event
At 8:25 AM on Sunday, October 22nd, over 22,000 registered runners gathered in front of the starting line, which was located on Tarongers Avenue in this 32nd edition of the Medio Maratón Valencia Trinidad Alfonso Zurich. Records are the norm in this event, and this time was no exception, not only in terms of the number of countries represented (107 compared to 99 in the previous edition) but also in the increased female participation, which stands at 27%. The majority of runners were Spanish, accounting for 77%, while 23%, three percentage points more than in 2022, came from other countries, mainly Italy, the United Kingdom, and France.
As for the double Spanish record, the achievements were made by the Aragonese athlete Carlos Mayo, who completed the race in 59:38 minutes, and the Extremaduran Laura Luengo, with a time of 1:09:41 minutes. Kenyan athlete Kibiwott Kandie retained his title as the male champion of the Medio Maratón Valencia with a time of 57:40 minutes, and Margaret Chelimo led the women’s classification with a time of 1:04:46 minutes.
“It’s a joy to see that the runners trust us once again and that they continue to sell out the bibs as early as April. However, at the same time, it’s a tremendous responsibility because we must ensure that this flight, in addition to being the largest and the fastest in the world, takes off perfectly and meets their expectations,” says Paco Borao, President of SD Correcaminos, the organizing entity of the event, and Race Director.
21K Valencia Running Airlines, a race that invites you to fly
On the other hand, as mentioned at the beginning, projects like the Medio Maratón Valencia Trinidad Alfonso Zurich drive us to surpass ourselves and also to take flight, why not. Once again, we have been responsible for the annual concept creation and the development of the entire event’s imagery – from the arches to the finish line barriers, posters, presentations, videos, and the race shirt. We have also managed the annual marketing and advertising campaigns, as well as social media management, race coverage, and the production of the competition’s aftermovie, among other responsibilities.
Regarding the concept, and with the recognition that we are dealing with the fastest half marathon in Spain, this year we decided to emphasize the importance of speed and conceptualized the race as “21K Valencia Running Airlines.” In the language of runners, there has always been a reference to “flying” when someone runs very fast or achieves their personal best, so we combined this popular expression with the world of an airline.
Thus, elite runners became the “pilots,” and the volunteers became our “crew.” Additionally, the official event shirt featured the phrase “My Best Flight,” and the race course was presented as the “Flight Route.”
A charitable race
Setting a record in the number of participants has also had a positive charitable impact: the Z Zurich Foundation, the foundation of Zurich Insurance, will donate 1€ for each runner who crossed the finish line. As a result, Friends of the Elderly, the charitable organization associated with the race this year, will receive a charitable check worth 19,420 euros, in addition to the voluntary contributions made by the runners during their registration, which amount to 14,946€.