Next Sunday 17 November the city of Valencia will be host to one of the most important and popular races in Spain: the 33rd ‘Maratón Divina Pastora’, organized by Valencia’s town council and the ‘Sociedad Deportiva Correcaminos’, a sports club which has organized the marathon since 1981 when it was known as ‘Maratón Popular de Valencia’, in collaboration with the Trinidad Alfonso foundation.

Last year’s marathon saw Luka Kanda win first place in the men’s category, while Birhane Dibaba Adegna won the women’s race, attracting more than 9,000 contestants in total. With registering now closed, this figure has already been smashed by 2013’s total of 11,300 marathoners who are on their marks to compete in the 42-kilometre race. This large number of runners has pushed last year’s total up by 22% and includes an impressive number of contestants from outside Spain (23%); a clue as to the significant international appeal of the marathon.

For those runners for who the 42km would be an impossible feat, the parallel 10km race, the ‘paralela 10K’, poses an alternative challenge, bringing the total number of people set to sprint the streets of Valencia next Sunday to 19,000. Both sets of runners will start the race together from the Monteolivete bridge, competing in parallel for the first 4km, although from separate lanes. The finish line promises to be truly spectacular, positioned at the end of the 150m-walkway over one of the lakes in the City of Arts and Sciences.

Read more about the Maratón Divina Pastora