- Ethiopia's 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana who made her marathon debut in Amsterdam last year with 2:17:20, posses a threat.
- On Sunday she’ll line up alongside compatriots Genzebe Dibaba, Worknesh Degefa, Hiwot Gebrekidan and Bosena Mulatie.
Celestine Chepchirchir, who ran 2:20:10 in Seoul last year, and Seville marathon winner Jackline Chelal, who has a PB of 2:20:29, are the leading Kenyan entrants for this year’s Valencia marathon set for November 3.
Chepchirchir who has run 13 marathons so far, trains in Kapsabet, Nandi County.
The duo will face a quality field with Ethiopia's 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana who made her marathon debut in Amsterdam last year with 2:17:20, recorded the fastest debut in history in the mix.
This year, the 32-year-old placed seventh in London in 2:20:44, but had won the Lisbon Half marathon one month earlier in a PB of 1:05:30.
On Sunday she’ll line up alongside compatriots Genzebe Dibaba, Worknesh Degefa, Hiwot Gebrekidan and Bosena Mulatie.
Dibaba, the former 1500m star, also made a promising marathon debut in Amsterdam last year, clocking 2:18:05, but she failed to finish in London this year before placing sixth (2:21:47) in Chicago at the start of October.
Degefa, a 2:17:41 performer, didn't compete in 2021 and 2022 as she became a mother twice but she made a strong return in October with a 1:07:48 win at the Trento Half Marathon.
Gebrekidan set her PB of 2:19:10 at the Tokyo marathon last year, and placed eighth in Boston earlier this year, while 22-year-old Mulatie will be tackling the distance for the first time, having set a half marathon PB of 1:05:46.
Poland's European champion Aleksandra Lisowska, Spain's Majida Maayouf (2:21:01) Croatia's Bojana Bjeljac (2:23:39), Italy's Sofiia Yaremchuk (2:24:02) and Ireland's Fiounnala Mc Cormack are among the other leading international entrants.
Ethiopia's Abebe Garedew, Kenya's Titus Kemboi and Spain's Alejandro Jiménez have been enlisted as pacemakers and will try to reach the halfway point in 1:07:30, putting the leading women on schedule to threaten Amane Beriso's course record of 2:14:58, set last year.
A total of 33,000 runners are set to take part in the event, 57% of them travelling from abroad and representing a record 134 countries.
The weather forecast predicts a windless day, with the thermometer reaching 10-12C by the time of the event.