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Bedan Karoki of Kenya last year retained his Ra’s Al Khaimah Half Marathon title from 2017 (59:10), storming to a 58:42 and leading six others under the one-hour barrier. In the women’s race Fancy Chemutai from Kenya missed the three-month-old women’s world record by just one second with her 1:04:52 clocking in a memorable clash with Kenyan Mary Keitany.
Topping this year’s men’s line-up is Ethiopia’s Abadi Hadis, who on October 20 was third at the Valencia Half in 58:44, in only his second outing over the distance. His fabulous track times at 5000m and 10,000m plus his Cross Country pedigree, single him out as a genuine all-round racer, and if his 2018 form on road and track is maintained, he will be the one to beat.
Behind the young Ethiopian is a host of top Kenyans and fellow Ethiopians. Jorum Okombo is one of the former, placing fourth last year (59:36) when just 20, but with a 58:48 best when runner-up in Copenhagen 2017. Despite a string of fast times over the last two years, he has yet to win a half marathon.
The experienced Alex Korio has been consistently under the magical 60-minute barrier in recent years, while fellow Kenyan Daniel Kipchumba, after winning his debut half in Italy last April, went on to win the Copenhagen Half last September in 59:06, and was again under the hour in New Delhi in October.
While not yet a sub-60 minute performer, much attention will be focused upon Switzerland’s latest road sensation Julien Wanders. Spending much of the year training in Kenya, the 22-year-old set a 27:25 European 10km record in Paris on 30 December, and with his 1:00:09 half marathon best last February, is perfectly poised to become just the fifth European ever to break the one hour mark.(01/29/2019) Views: 1,867 ⚡AMP
The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...more...