Known for producing lightning fast times, the 10k Valencia Ibercaja attracts some of the best road runners in the world. With the men’s race being won by Jacob Kiplimo in a time of 26:48 and the women’s by Agnes Jebet Ngetich in 28:46, a new World Record, there can be no doubt that this year was certainly no exception.
Despite a headwind throughout the second half of the course, conditions were good with temperatures in the mid-teens. A five-strong England team were ready to see if they could take advantage of the flat course and good weather and run some fast times.
Jack Gray (Cambridge and Coleridge, Mark Vile) headed to Valencia in great form having run a new road PB of 28:44 at Telford the previous month. Jack ensured that he started 2024 in the best way possible, improving on his recent road PB by almost 10 seconds. Jack ran 28:36 and finished 38th in a stacked field. After the race, Jack gave his thoughts on the event:
The Valencia 10km rightfully boasts the strap line, "the fastest 10km in the world", and the race has an almost championship feel about it. From living with 100s of elite athletes in a race hotel with a regimented timetable, through to the hustle, bustle and pumping sound system of the start line, the race is brilliant preparation for future international competitions.
I managed to take advantage of a near perfect course and came home with a road PB of 28:36, which forms another important step forward in my ambition to make a major championship. Finally, a big thank you to England Athletics for the opportunity to step out of the day job, and become part of the 'world elite' for the weekend! The 'gap' feels easier to bridge because of it.
Finishing closely behind Jack was Jacob Allen (Highgate, Steve McGowan). Jacob finished incredibly fast to ensure he not only bettered his time from last year but ran an outright PB of 28:43 and placed 42nd. Clubmate and training partner Alexander Leprêtre (Highgate, David Chalfen) rounded off a strong series of performances for Team England’s men finishing in 68th with a time of 29:38.
The England women also performed well. Ellie Wallace (North Somerset AC, Julian Emery) backed up her 10k debut from October with a very consistent 32:57 and crossing the finish line in 32nd after a strong run getting to grips with the new distance. Bryony Gunn (Birchfield Harriers, Peter Stewart) headed to Valencia to represent Team England for the first time and she more than rose to the occasion. Not only did Bryony finish 34th and set a 10k PB of 33:02, but she also ran a 5k PB of 16:18 en-route. Not a bad day’s work for the Birchfield Harrier athlete.
The team was accompanied to Spain by Team Manager Spencer Duval, former Head of Endurance at England Athletics. After the race, Spencer gave his thoughts on the Valencia 10k and the opportunity the event provides:
“It was great to see such strong performances from all the Team England athletes. The Valencia 10k not only offers athletes a super fast course against fierce competition, but it is also a brilliant opportunity to learn how a world class road event is run. I have no doubt that the team will take back some great learnings with them in addition to good memories and a host of PBs!”
One of the performances of the day came from English athlete Jess Warner-Judd (Blackburn, Mick Judd) who ran a brilliant time of 30:38. Jess’ run also earned her an excellent 12th place in an outstanding field.Valencia 10k results Valencia 10k website
England teams and selection opportunities
The 10k Valencia Ibercaja was a part of England Athletics' programme of team and selection opportunities which provide athletes the chance to build international experience and represent their country at the highest level.