IAAF, Madrid, Spain
The 46th ‘San Silvestre Vallecana’ –an IAAF Silver Label Road Race – will be held on New Year’s eve night. In addition to the elite contest, there will be a mass race held two and a half hours before the main event, where 35,000 will take to the streets of the Spanish capital.
Tadese against the Spanish armada – Men’s race
The slightly downhill 10km race features Eritrea’s reigning World Half Marathon record holder Zersenay Tadese in the leading role. The 28-year-old Madrid-based star last raced at the IAAF World Half Marathon championships in Nanning on 16 October when he could not retain his title having to settle for the silver medal behind Kenya’s Wilson Kiprop.
Tadese suffered a calf muscle injury with six kilometre left in Nanning but he was still able to keep on running to make the podium in 1:00:15. It the took him one month to be fully recovered as he resumed his trainings in mid-November.
After a 20-day stint in his native Eritrea, Tadese arrived in Madrid on 28 December ready to take the win on his second appearance at the event. Back in 2006 he came tantalizingly close to the victory but the win went to Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, both athletes being credited with an impressive 26:54 time.
At the official press conference held earlier today (30 Dec.) the Jerónimo Bravo-coached ace said: “I now feel recovered from the injury but my only target for tomorrow is to win the race.”
Trying to take advantage of Tadese’s question mark fitness will be a strong local contingent led by the reigning European Cross Country silver medallist Ayad Lamdassem and Jesús España, the current European 5000m silver medallist. In addition, World indoor 3000m runner-up Sergio Sánchez and the European Marathon silver medal holder Chema Martínez will also be in contention.
The Moroccan-born Lamdassem is a 27:45.58 10,000m specialist on the track, and has scheduled his Marathon debut for next April and should be in the fight for the win until the closing stages on Friday night while España’s long-standing dream of becoming a San Silvestre winner in his hometown might be closer than ever on this occasion as the 32-year-old is a renowned road specialist who already finished runner-up back in 2001.
The 39-year-old Martínez was the last Spanish victor in 2003 and showed reasonably good form at the Venta de Baños XC permit last 19 December while Sánchez targets the 3000m indoor season but has proved to be in fine form recently by taking third at the Yecla Cross Country contest on 19 December too.