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Name one great Tanzanian runner. Okay, there is one: Filbert Bayi. He won a silver medal during the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games and Commonwealth gold six years prior. It was that race where he set the world 1500m record at 3:32.16. In so doing, he defeated the great John Walker of New Zealand. At the time it was an upset of epic proportions.

In anticipation of the 2023 Valencia Marathon happening Sunday, December 3, all the pre-race attention has been on the likes of Joshua Cheptegei, Kibiwott Kandie, and Almaz Ayana. This is for good reason, they may challenge course and world records. Meanwhile Tanzanian runner Gilbert Geay, so far, has flown under the radar.

The 27-year-old has run as fast as 2:03:00. He did so at the 2022 edition of the Valencia Marathon where he set the national record.

Geay currently holds no less than seven national records or bests. From 15K to the marathon.

In April this year, he finished second at the Boston Marathon clocking a 2:06:04 finish time. Geay finished 10 seconds behind winner Evans Chebet of Kenya.

Others in the field include Kenenisa Bekele who is a three-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion. Bekele owns a personal best of 2:01:41. The most anticipation may be around the Cheptegei’s debut over the marathon distance. He owns the current world 5000m and 10,000m records. Kandie, known for his impressive records in the Valencia Half Marathon, is expected he will have a great marathon to match his prowess he has displayed off and on over the past few years.

Keep in mind, that several others will be potential top-5 threats. They include Alexander Mutiso, Sisay Lemma, Leul Gebresilase, Chalu Deso, and Titus Kipruto, all with sub-2:05 bests.

But, don’t be surprised if Geay finishes sub-2:03:00 and top-5 too.

How to watch the Valencia Marathon


For those interested in watching the event live, there are several options for online streaming and TV coverage available across various countries.

  • In Spain, the event can be watched on EITB.EUS SportA punt media TV, and Tele Deportes (note: a Spanish IP is required for Tele Deportes).
  • French viewers can tune in to Lequipe.fr.
  • Eurosport will provide coverage across Europe.
  • In Canada, Mexico, and South America, the marathon will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN Run.
  • MARCA TV is another channel offering coverage.
  • For viewers in Kenya, the race will be available on Kenya SuperSport, KBC, StarTimes, KTN, NTV, and Canal+.
  • Ethiopian audiences can watch the event on EBS, SuperSport, StarTimes, and Canal+.

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