Straneo to return to marathon action in Valencia after injury lay-off

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It has been almost two-and-a-half years since Valeria Straneo contested her last marathon but the Italian veteran will be returning to her favoured distance on Sunday (2) at the Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP, a five-star certified road race by European Athletics Running for All.

Straneo holds the Italian record with 2:23:44 from Rotterdam six years ago. At her very best, Straneo could have contended for victory on Sunday - she has the third fastest lifetime best on paper in the elite women’s field - but Straneo conceded she isn’t in this sort of form after spending so long watching on from the sidelines.

'I already know at the beginning that I will not do a super result but I'm fine. It's been so long since I've run a marathon, that I've almost lost my habit, so I do not have a clear idea of ​​what I can do,” Straneo told FIDAL in a question and answer interview ahead of the race.

“The signs are for a time around 2:32. It will be difficult to get under 2:30, but in marathon you never know. I try to be cautious: it's a long race, always full of variables. You can never be sure and this time less than usual.”

Not since the 2016 Olympics where she finished a creditable 13th - and the third European finisher home - has Straneo contested a marathon. Now 42, Straneo has carved her reputation as a championship performer but one of the events she was forced to miss due to injury was the European Championships in Berlin due to a persistent knee injury.


Straneo resumed training in mid-July but she will arrive in Valencia off a reduced training cycle. In her pomp, Straneo often covered 200-210 kilometres per week but she has reduced that load to an average of 140-150 kilometres with the occasional 170 kilometre week.

'I'm happy to be able to run and to be back on the starting line in a race in my distance, not a shorter one. The preparations went well - albeit a bit different from usual - and I wanted to close the year with a marathon. I cannot wait,' she said.

There will be some additional extra European interest in the women’s race. Former European 10,000m champion Ana Dulce Felix - who finished three places behind Straneo at the Olympics - makes her comeback to marathon running after maternity leave while former European U20 cross country champion Stephanie Twell makes her debut at the distance.

The European Athletics Quality Road Race standards act as an assurance for road runners throughout Europe. They distinguish between races that respect the standards and those that haven’t sought certification or assessment. They form the foundation of Running for All, a strong recognisable brand for running activities throughout Europe.

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