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A record-breaking number of entrants has been confirmed for this year’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, which will be held on Al Marjan Island on Friday, 21 February. Lining up alongside some of best long-distance athletes in the world, including Brigid Kosgei, Peres Jepchirchir and Julien Wanders, some 5,100 runners will compete across a variety of race categories, including full half marathon, relay, 5 km and a 1 km fun run.
The 14th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon boasts a truly impressive line-up of world-class elite runners. In the women’s race, women’s marathon world record-holder, Brigid Kosgei from Kenya, will be accompanied by a further 10 runners with sub 67-minute personal bests. Joining Kosgei among the favourites will be former half marathon World record holder, Peres Jepchirchir, reigning World Half Marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta, and 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon winner, Fancy Chemutai. Also in action will be the last two winners of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, Ababel Yeshaneh and Vivian Kiplagat.
The elite field in the men’s race is also one of the best ever for a half marathon, featuring 11 runners with sub 60-minute personal bests, including European half marathon record-holder, Julien Wanders from Switzerland.
Speaking at a pre-race press conference, one of the men’s favourites, Alexander Mutiso Munyao, commented: “I’m pleased to have recently run 59.09 which is the fastest half marathon time of 2020 so far. While this was my personal best, I’m aiming to break it in Ras Al Khaimah.”
Marathon world record holder, Brigid Kosgei said: “I think Ras Al Khaimah is a fantastic course as several world records were broken on it before. While I’m preparing now for the London Marathon, I would like to break my personal record this weekend for the half marathon.”
Renowned as the world’s fastest half marathon, this year’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will see a prize purse of AED 1,219,000 distributed among the leading elite runners as well as the UAE National and age group categories.
With registration for all race categories now closed, a total of 5,100 participants from 114 different nationalities have signed up. This number includes 3,174 for the half marathon itself, which starts at 07:00am and also features two-person and four-person relay formats, while the 5 km race starts at 10:30am and the 1 km fun run, specially designed for families and children, at 11:00am. The elite awards ceremony for the half marathon winners will take place at 08:20am within the specially created race village.
The race village will be open to competitors and spectators alike from 05:00am. With both starting and finishing points located adjacent to the village, it will be the ideal venue from which to support the runners. Additionally, visitors will be able to watch live footage of the race on the main stage screen, visit sponsor booths, choose from a range of food and beverage options, and enjoy the family entertainment on offer, including crazy golf, mini bowling, a climbing wall, a bouncy castle and a bungee trampoline. Parking is available just off Marjan Island, a short walk to the race village as well as start and finish areas.
Sports fans in the UAE and across the MENA region can enjoy all the sporting action from the comfort of their own homes, courtesy of an international feed by Dubai Sports. The live programme will be aired with both Arabic and English commentary and will cover the race and awards ceremony. The event will also be broadcast in Italy by Sky Sport, in South America by ESPN and in all remaining countries around the world by both Endurance Sports and the Olympic Channel on their web live-streaming platforms. Highlights will be broadcast in Russia and Sub-Saharan Africa by Start TV and Star Times respectively.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented: “With more runners than ever before, and a field of elite athletes that cements its position as one of the best half marathons in the world, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon continues to go from strength to strength. With a new route for 2020, the race organization has been the best yet, and will allow all participants and visitors to enjoy a remarkable day in our beautiful Emirate.”
Federico Rosa quote: “The line-up of runners for this year’s half marathon is truly exceptional and would generate great excitement in any normal year. But with the Tokyo Olympics only a few months away, and runners gearing up towards the pinnacle of the sporting calendar, we are hoping to witness something really special this weekend, with some very fast times. There has certainly never been a better time to come along to Ras Al Khaimah and enjoy competitive international running at its very best.”
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