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Switzerland’s Julien Wanders is confirmed to compete at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on 21 February. He is one of eleven athletes with lifetime bests under the one hour-mark to be recruited for this year’s race.
It was in the same race last year when Wanders set the current mark of 59:13 to break Mo Farah’s previous record of 59:32. Farah has since run faster - 59:07 in the Great North Run last September - although that mark was set on a downhill course and is not valid for record purposes.
Wanders has started his season in stellar form with a third place finish in the 10K Valencia Ibercaja in 27:13 - he also equaled his European 5km record of 13:29 en route - which sliced twelve seconds from his previous record and the Iten-based Swiss has aspirations of following suit in Ras Al Khaimah next month.
“RAK will be a perfect opportunity to test my shape and lower my PB over the half marathon before the World Championships in March,” said Wanders, referring to the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland on March 29.
Wanders finished eighth at the last edition of the World Half Marathon Championships and fourth in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon last year - something he will be looking to improve upon judging by his comments after last year’s race. "The only thing is I was fourth! I just missed out on the podium but otherwise I'm happy," he said.
The men’s field also includes Ethiopians Andamlak Berihu (59:10), Mosinet Geremew (59:11), Solomon Berihu (59:17) and Amdework Walegegn (59:22) and Kenya’s Benard Kimeli (59:07 PB) who finished one place ahead of Wanders in Valencia.(01/22/2020) ⚡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...