Vanessa Veiga has sprinted her way into the history books…
The 33-year-old Spanish long-distance runner obtained the first women’s race victory for Spain in 15 years over the weekend at the Madrid Marathon.
Veiga, who placed 97th in the marathon at the 2012 Summer Olympics, made a great final kick to move out ahead of Ethiopia’s Desta Girma Tadesse, who won the Madrid race in 2010 and 2011, just 50 meters (54 yards) from the finish line. In the end, Veiga triumphed with a time of 2:36:38.
Upon crossing the finish line, Veiga jumped for joy and received kisses from her three children.
Kenya’s Francis Kiprop, 30, set a new Madrid Marathon record of 2:10:37, when he crossed the finish line first to win the race. Meanwhile, Salamanca native Rafael Iglesias achieved his objective of being the first Spaniard to cross the finish line, coming in eighth with a time of 2:16:11 after having to sit out the race for the past two years with osteopathy of the pelvis.
The race began at 9 a.m. with a minute of silence to pay tribute to the victims of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings and a nod to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which on Sept. 27 in Buenos Aires will choose from among Madrid, Tokyo and Istanbul the city that will host the 2020 Olympic Games.
Some 26,000 runners – all wearing black armbands in memory of the Boston bombing victims – began this year’s race at Colon Square with the temperature standing at 39-degrees Fahrenheit.