Dulce Felix clocks 2:25:24 on her comeback in the Valencia Marathon

Felix homing in on more glory
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Ana Dulce Felix finished fifth in the Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso in 2:25:24 to move to second on the 2018 European lists

There were a number of notable performances from European athletes at the Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, a five star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All, on Sunday (2).

In a race won by Ethiopian Ashete Bekere Diro in a Spanish all-comers record of 2:21:14, Portugal’s Ana Dulce Felix ran a superb race to finish fifth in 2:25:24 in her first marathon since returning from maternity leave.

Now 36, Dulce Felix jumped to second on the 2018 European lists behind Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, who leads the list with her 2:24:17 from the Florence Marathon last weekend.

“However much experience I have and despite running an excellent time in the half marathon in Lisbon, I was a little scared about how my body was going to react,” Dulce Felix, who just missed her lifetime best of 2:25:15, told the Record after the race.

Dulce Felix is targeting the IAAF World Championships in Doha next September but she has yet to decide whether she will contest the marathon or try and qualify for the 10,000m instead.

On her debut at the distance, Great Britain’s Steph Twell ran a well-measured race to finish seventh in 2:30:14 while Italy’s Valeria Straneo, who is back at the distance after long-term injury, was eighth in 2:30:26 in her first marathon since the Olympics in 2016 when she was 13th.

“I felt the fatigue in my legs from the 26th kilometre but I think I have kept to the task quite well,” Straneo told FIDAL after the race.

“At one point I thought: how do I get to the end? Even if the pace dropped a bit, I made it. I did not play too cautiously, but I was comfortable at that pace and the weather conditions were great. I especially listened to the feelings, I almost never looked at the clock.”

Wanders keeps on winning 

It has been quite an autumn for Switzerland’s Julien Wanders and on Sunday in Geneva, he achieved another notable success.

Wanders, 22, delivered a superb performance to retain his title at the Escalade de Geneva as he won over 7.323km in 20:46 from Kenya's Fredrick Kiptoo in 20:59 and Russia’s neutral athlete Rinas Akhmadeev in 21:01. France’s Florian Carvalho was fourth in 21:04 with Wanders’ fellow Swiss Tadesse Abraham fifth in 21:07.

It was the 41st staging of the event and 12 months on from his glory here in 2017, Wanders improved upon his winning time then of 20:59.

Eilish McColgan closed her season on a winning note and now her thoughts will turn to the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in March when she will contest the 3000m.

With a run of 32:39, McColgan retained a title as she won the Percy Pud 10K in Sheffield. A year ago she broke the course record for victory in 32:32 and though a little way outside of that this time, it was another fine triumph for the European 5000m silver medallist who will be eyeing up indoor success in Glasgow.

Simen Guttormsen clears 5.00m for the first time

It was a memorable day in Rud on Saturday for 17-year-old Norwegian pole vaulter Simen Guttormsen as he reached 5.00m for the first time.

The younger brother of 19-year-old Sondre, who was sixth at the European Championships in Berlin in the summer with 5.75m, Simen is the 20th pole vaulter from Norway to clear 5.00m or higher.

Simen improved his lifetime best by eighteen centimetres and will be looking to secure the qualifying mark of 5.10m for the European Athletics U20 Championships in Boras next July.