Ugandan long distance runner, Joshua Cheptegei ended the year in style when he won the 10km San Silvestre Vallecana race on the streets on the Spanish capital, Madrid on Saturday.
The world record holder in the 5000m and 10000m and Olympic 5000m gold medalist from Tokyo 2020 clocked a time of 27 minutes and 9 seconds but fell short of lowering fellow Ugandan runner Jacob Kiplimo’s 26:39 event record from 2018, which, at the time, was the world record.
The current men’s 10km world record at 26:24 is held by Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto set in 2020.
On Saturday, Cheptegei beat 2021’s winner, Mohamed Katir from Spain who came second.
The Ugandan runner received a standing ovation from the audience that cheered him on when he crossed the finish line and on arrival he embraced Antonio Sabugueiro, the founder of the race in 1964.
The race in Spain was Cheptegei’s first race since getting knee problems in the 5000m final at the Oregon World Athletics Championships in July 2022.
Chesang shines in women’s race
In the women’s race, 19 year old Prisca Chesang from Uganda beat the rest to the gong when she clocked a time of 30:19.
Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba came second at 30:58 whereas Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech at 31:06 was third.
About the race
The San Silvestre Vallecana is an annual 10 km road race held on December 31 in Madrid , Spain since 1964 and is based upon the Saint Silvester Road Race, a Brazilian race held since 1925 which spawned numerous other New Year’s Eve races.
It has a fun run for amateur athletes and an elite race for professional athletes with the race achieving its historical record of participants, up to 40,000 in 2012.
Along with the Madrid Marathon, the San Silvestre Vallecana is one of the city’s foremost annual running events.