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Pacer Wins Abu Dhabi Marathon by 2 Minutes, Takes Home $100,000

Though he was supposed to drop out at 30K, Reuban Kipyego went on to break the tape in 2:04:40.

Reuban Kipyego took his pacing duties an unexpected step further when he won the Abu Dhabi Marathon on Friday, December 6.

As the designated runner who was tasked with pacing the elite field through a specific point in the race, the 23-year-old Kenyan was expected to drop out around 30K. But Kipyego kept running all the way through the finish line, breaking the tape in a time of 2:04:40.

The pacemaker turned champion beat runner-up Joel Kimurer by a minute and 41 seconds. As the marathon champion, Kipyego earned $100,000 in prize money.

“I was setting the pace for the first 30K feeling very good, and when I turned back to see that the pack was not close behind, I decided that I was going to push to the finish line,” Kipyego told race organizers after his victory.

Kipyego ran faster for the second half of the race after leading the field through 13.1 miles in 1:02:54. The performance improves on his previous personal best of 2:05:18 from a runner-up finish in his debut at the Buenos Aires Marathon on September 22.

Though his action was rare, Kipyego was not the first pacemaker to keep running all the way through the finish line.

In 1994, Paul Pilkington was hired as the rabbit to lead the elite field through 15.5 miles of the Los Angeles Marathon, but he continued on for the entire 26.2, winning the race in 2:12:13. Simon Biwott was supposed to lead the runners through 28K of the 2000 Berlin Marathon, but he ended up leading right through the line, winning in 2:07:42.

In his second pro race, Geoffrey Ronoh upset then-world record-holder Wilson Kipsang at the 2014 Olomouc Half Marathon. Instead of stopping at 10K, the pacemaker won in a course record 1:00:17.

For runners who are on the bubble of winning podium prize money, signing on to be a pacemaker in a large race is an easy way to earn guaranteed payment. While they are expected to drop out before the race ends—and most do—they are allowed to finish the race if they choose to.

“For me, the conditions were ideal and the course was beautiful,” Kipyego told the race organizers. “I’m already looking forward to returning to Abu Dhabi to defend my title.”

(12/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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Kenyans Vivian Kiplagat and Reuban Kipyego claim victory at Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon

Kenya completed the double at the 2019 Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon on Friday morning when Reuban Kipyego won the men's title and Vivian Kiplagat claimed her third victory of the year.

Kipyego, 23, set the pace and led all the way to take home the $100,000 (Dh367,000) first prize in a time of 2hrs 04min and 40sec, just outside the time of last year’s inaugural winner of the race Marius Kipserem (2:04:04).

Another Kenyan Joel Kimurer (2:06:21) took second spot ahead of Ethiopian Fikadu Girma Teferi (2:09:16).

Defending champion Kipserem became an early casualty, with the Kenyan pulling out before the halfway mark of the race.

“I’m surprised with the result,” Kipyego said on his first major marathon career success. “My job today was to set the pace but I felt good throughout the entire race and just kept going the distance.”

Kipyego arrived on the back of a runner-up spot and a personal best time of 2:05:02 in the IAAF Bronze Label Buenos Aires Marathon on September 22.

“This was a tough race to win like any other major marathon,” he said. “I am very happy with my own performance and the result.”

Kiplagat, 28, lived up to her top billing by taking the women’s race in a personal best time of 2:21:11 and with it the $100,000 prize that was on offer.

She broke away from the group straightaway and then maintained her position in the front all the way to the end.

“My objective was to run 2:20 but it was still a personal best time and I’m glad of the day’s work,” Kiplagat, who bettered her previous PB 2:22:25 at the Milan Marathon in April, said.

Joining Kiplagat on the podium were Ethiopians Wude Atalew (2:24:03) and Yeshi Kalayu (2:24:28).

Eunice Chumba, the Kenyan running under the Bahrain flag who was runner up last year, was fourth in 2:26:43, well outside her 2018 time of 2:20:54.

(12/06/2019) ⚡AMP
by Amith Passela
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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Vivian Kiplagat is confident she can set a new personal best time and win the Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon

Vivian Kiplagat, 28, enters the last of her four races in 2019 after a career-best season during which she set a PB of 2:22:25 on April 7 to win the Milan Marathon before two weeks later finishing runner-up at the Eldoret Marathon.

The Kenyan was then victorious in her most recent race, the Mexico City Marathon on August 25 where she set a new race record, and is aiming to maintain her fine form when she competes for the $100,000US first-place prize this weekend.

“My goal is to run this marathon in under 2:20,” she said when asked about her ambitions for the Abu Dhabi Marathon, which offers a flat and fast course.

“Of course I want to win. My preparations have been good. My form is good. My confidence is high. I’m familiar with the challengers in this race, and I’m hopeful.”

Kiplagat revealed that she has been preparing for this race for the past three months, ever since she confirmed her place. Four marathons in one season could leave an athlete at the risk of fatigue, but Kiplagat insisted that she has more than enough left in the tank to complete her year on a high.

“I know my abilities,” she said. “I have had a good year so far. I feel I’m in that time of my career where I can improve my performance.”

Like many athletes, Kiplagat’s main objective is to qualify for next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, and she believes a strong result in Abu Dhabi will be an important milestone before choosing her Olympic qualifying race.

“To run in the Olympics is the dream of every athlete,” she said. “But it’s not easy in Kenya. I feel this is my best chance but for now, I am only focused on Abu Dhabi.

“The decision to run in an Olympic qualifier will be made how I come out of this race. If everything goes well I may be running in one of the major marathons to qualify for the Olympics.”

Kiplagat has trained with Brigid Kosgei, who in October broke Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old marathon world record when she ran 2:14:04 at the Chicago Marathon, taking one minute and 19 seconds off the Briton’s time.

“Brigid was one of the women runners in our group of 20 when I first joined a training team four years ago,” said Kiplagat, who is a mother of two to a six-year-old daughter and a four-year-old boy.

“I was born in a town where distance running was a common sight on the roads where I grew up. I joined a team of runners and developed to a decent level. I thought I had the potential to start a full time career five years ago.

“Then, later I joined a team trained by a former marathon runner. We had about 20 in the group including four or five women including Brigid. That’s how my journey began.

“I have a lot of aspirations. Olympics is one of them. I also want to win a few big city marathons. Abu Dhabi is one of them.”

(12/05/2019) ⚡AMP
by Chris Whiteoak
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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Kenya's Marius Kipserem will face his compatriot Dickson Chumba in his quest to defend Abu Dhabi marathon title

Kenya's Marius Kipserem believes nothing will stop him in his bid to retain the Abu Dhabi Marathon on Friday.

The women's race will invoke a teammate rivalry as Kenya's Vivian Kiplagat (2:22:25) and Bahrain's Eunice Chumba (2:24:27), who is 10,000m silver medalist of Asian Athletics Championships in Wuhan, China.

However, unlike last year during the inaugural race, Kipserem will have to dig deeper if he has to keep at bay his rivals led by compatriot and former Chicago and Tokyo Marathon winner Dickson Chumba.

"I have done well in training and am focused on the race in Abu Dhabi. I have no pressure whatsoever because I know what work, I have put in and what is expected.

There are other runners with a higher pedigree and records, but the reality on the race day is how prepared one is in the mind and fitness," Kipserem said on Tuesday.

Kipserem won the 2018 Rotterdam in 2:06:11 in April and improved that record to 2:4:12 in Abu Dhabi in December.

"I am going to defend my title and hopefully with a better time than last year," Kipserem added. In winning the inaugural race in Abu Dhabi, Kipserem stopped the clock at 2:04:12.

He is hoping to shave off two minutes to join the elusive club of marathon runners who have hit the two hours and two minutes' mark, currently held by just around four runners - Kenenisa Bekele (2:01.42), Eliud Kipchoge (2:01.39), Birhanu Legese and Dennis Kimetto.

"Everyone wants to compete in the big city marathons and after Abu Dhabi, I believe London will be the next stage, which I consider a good trial for the Tokyo Olympics. London is very important for me because a good result can earn me a spot in Kenya's four-member marathon team at the Olympics," he added.

Kipserem made the Kipchoge's INEOS 1:59 Challenge. He was part of the 31 pacesetters, who were contracted to help Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge to accomplish his task to become the first man to run the 42km distance in less than two hours. Kipchoge stopped the clock at 1:59.40.

Chumba (2:04:32), who will provide the challenge to Kipserem, has not had a good season. He failed to defend his Tokyo marathon title and was seventh at the Chicago marathon in October.

"I feel strong after the Chicago race. In Tokyo, it was wet and slippery and I had to slow down to avoid injury. I have not raced since then and will be happy to go to Abu Dhabi and win against the strong athletes lined up," Chumba said.

(12/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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From Olympic medals to marathons, Isaac, Jonah, and Mica will be running the Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon 10km

The Hambleton brothers are already accomplished athletes. Isaac, 18; Jonah, 16; and Mica, 16 all took home medals at the Special Olympic World Games held in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

And now they are preparing for their next challenge, which will see them enter the Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon’s 10 kilometer race in December.

The adopted brothers, who were born with autism, have been busy training together throughout the summer at the free running sessions held at Zayed Sport City, ahead of the race on Friday, December 6.

“The boys have become closer, they support each other. They really are their own team and it’s nice because whenever we go some place that we are not familiar with, we already feel comfortable because we brought our own people” says mum Cassie Hambleton.

The brothers hope to become professional athletes, as well as advocated for people of determination and people with autism.

“I’d like to inspire the community to stay active” says Isaac.

During the World Games in March, Jonah won gold in the 10km cycling road race with a time of 18.07.00. It was his second medal, after he and his brother Mica were the first athletes to cross the finish line at the Games, coming first and second in the triathlon.

Mica and Issac also took gold and silver in the 1,500-meter open water swimming.

(11/20/2019) ⚡AMP
by Sophie Prideaux
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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There is prize money of $388,000 to be won at the second Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon to be held on December 6

The inaugural edition had 30 elite athletes in the fray and saw more than 10,300 people register for the event representing 121 nationalities.

There are prize money worth $388,000 to be won at the second Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon to be held on December 6 following the UAE's 48th National Day celebrations.

The winners for elite men's and women's race will each take home $100,000. The overall prize money is one of the world's biggest and set to attract best runners to Abu Dhabi, officials said.

Abu Dhabi Sports Council is organising the Capital's biggest community sports event. The inaugural edition had 30 elite athletes in the fray and saw more than 10,300 people register for the event representing 121 nationalities.

"Registrations for the event have started," Aref Hamad Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said. "The number of participants is expected to rise this year. We hope to attract 15,000 runners. This shows the success of the inaugural event. The marathon has grown into a world-class event."

Even as the registration fees remain same as last year, there's a 30-per cent discount for those who sign up before May 31. There is also special package on offer for corporate entries.

Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, executive office director of ADNOC, revealed an all-new venue for the event village. ADNOC's campus next to its headquarters will host various fun activities.

"Our energy is the key to the UAE's prosperity. Wherever there is energy, you will find us, and that is why we are so proud to be the title sponsor. With this commitment in mind, many of you will have noticed that, during the past 12 months, the ADNOC corporate campus has been undergoing extensive renovations to create a best-in-class working environment for our employees, and an unrivalled guest experience for our visitors. From this year on, the ADNOC marathon fan village or ADNOC Energy Zone will be hosted within the grounds of our new campus, providing an enhanced experience for our athletes, their families, and the entire UAE community," Al Suwaidi said.

Apart from marathon elite race, there is family-friendly 2.5-km fun race, 5-km for starters and 10km for those looking to challenge themselves. 

(11/09/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ashwani Kumar
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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Marius Kipserem is looking forward to defending his Abu Dhabi title this year, then switching his focus to the London Marathon and 2020 Tokyo Games

Marius Kipserem, winner of the inaugural Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon, will use second staging of the race as a launchpad for the London Marathon – and a possible qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Kipserem, 31, is the first confirmed men’s elite runner for the 42.2 kilometer race and will arrive for his title defense in the capital in top form.

The Kenyan is taking the same path as last year that gave him both the Rotterdam and Abu Dhabi marathon titles in new course record and personal best timings.

Kipserem won the 2018 Rotterdam in 2 hours, 6 minutes and 11 seconds in April and improved that record to 2:04:12 in Abu Dhabi in December.

In April this year, he retained the Rotterdam title in a new personal best time of 2:04:11 and is confident of improving it in Abu Dhabi on December 6.

“I enjoyed every moment of the race in Abu Dhabi but this time I want to use it as a launchpad for London,” Kipserem told The National during the launch of the race route at the Adnoc Headquarters in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

“The London Marathon [in April 2020] is very important for me because a good result can earn me a spot in Kenya’s four-member marathon team at the Olympics.

“I run only two marathons a year and Abu Dhabi will be the launchpad for London. The Olympics is my biggest dream and hopefully, I can achieve it.”

Kipserem has trained on well since Rotterdam and is looking forward to Abu Dhabi for another record breaking performance.

“The course here suits me well, although there is a slight change on the route from last year but that is not a big issue though,” he said.

“I love it here because of the good weather and the flat and long stretches of road. Having run here before, I feel even more confident of another record breaking performance.”

Next month, Kipserem runs as a pacemaker for compatriot and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge on his sub two-hour marathon bid at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna in a few weeks. 

The prize money for the Abu Dhabi event is over $388,000US with the winners from both the men and women’s races taking home $100,000US each.

Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We expect the second marathon in Abu Dhabi will be even better.

“We have changed the race route slightly to allow runners to hear the cheers of their supporters from the event village on the Adnoc South Plaza.”

Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, executive office director of Adnoc said: “We had more than 10,000 participants from 19 different communities from around the country and the region last year and we expect this number to grow in this year’s race.”

(09/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Amith Passela
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh Marathon inaugural winner, will return to Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon in 2019

Ababel Yeshaneh has said a return to the Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon next year will be one of her top priorities after the Ethiopian won the inaugural title in spectacular style on Friday. Yeshaneh, 27, claimed the women’s title with a time of two hours, 20 minutes and 16 seconds, smashing her previous personal best of 2:33:10, set at the Milan Marathon in 2013, by nearly 13 minutes. Yeshaneh won the race in the capital by 38 seconds over runner-up Eunice Chumba, and three minutes and 51 seconds ahead of third-placed Gelete Burka. Yeshaneh’s performance is even more remarkable for the fact that she is more of a half-marathoner.  Her only marathon since Milan five years ago came in Dubai earlier this year, but she did not finish that race. While largely running half marathons, Yeshaneh plans to return to Abu Dhabi in 2019 having been impressed with her experience of the inaugural race. “My coach decides on my races and I’ll leave it for him to decide, but the marathon in Abu Dhabi will be a priority when we discuss the plan for next year,” she says.  “This time my coach pushed me to do the marathon.  Obviously a lot of preparations were made and the end result has been really amazing.”  (12/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Marius Kipserem smashed his PR and won the inaugural ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon clocking 2:04:04

Kenya’s Marius Kipserem and Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh smashed their PBs to secure victories at the inaugural ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon. In a close race, Kipserem won in 2:04:04 to take more than two minutes off the PB he set when winning the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon, moving him to 12th on the world all-time list. During the week in which his recent world half marathon record was ratified, compatriot Abraham Kiptum finished second in 2:04:16 to also enter the top 20 on the world all-time list. Yeshaneh, meanwhile, won the women’s race in 2:20:16 to finish comfortably ahead of Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba, who clocked 2:20:54. As was the case in the men’s race, the top two finishers set lifetime bests. (12/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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