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Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh smashed the half marathon world record in Ras Al Khaimah

Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh smashed the world record to win the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Friday (21), clocking 1:04:31 at the World Athletics Gold Label road race.

Marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei was a distant second in 1:04:49, but her time was also inside the previous world record of 1:04:51, set by Joyciline Jepkosgei in Valencia in 2017.

Kosgei led for the first half, following pacemaker Geoffrey Pyego as he brought the field through five kilometers in 15:07 – 1:03:47 pace – with nine women in tow. By the time Kosgei reached 10 kilometers in 30:18, only Yeshaneh was able to stick with the Kenyan as Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yelahun led the chase pack some 11 seconds behind.

Roughly one mile after passing 15 kilometers in 45:38, Yeshaneh overtook Kosgei and continued to pull away. Although Yeshaneh’s pace slowed, she was still able to maintain her speed – and world record pace – better than Kosgei and covered the second 10km segment in 30:54.

Yeshaneh crossed the line in 1:04:31 to take 20 seconds off the world record while Kosgei followed in a Kenyan record of 1:04:49. It was revenge of sorts for the Ethiopian, who had finished second at last year’s Chicago Marathon when Kosgei won in a world record of 2:14:04.

Rosemary Wanjiru came through to take third place in 1:05:34, the fastest ever debut half marathon, and the next five women over the line finished inside 67 minutes.

“I didn’t imagine this result,” said Yeshaneh, whose previous best of 1:05:46 had stood as the Ethiopian record for a five-month period between 2018 and 2019. “I am a world record holder!”

Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie took the men’s race in 58:58, also winning by an 18-second margin as compatriot Alexander Mutiso Munyao finished second in 59:16.

Unlike the women’s race which was well inside world record pace throughout, the men’s race never quite hit the target times for each segment. The pacemaker covered the first five kilometers in 14:03, about 59:17 pace, and even then the rest of the field were five seconds adrift.

Having covered 10 kilometers in 28:07, the real racing began about 12 minutes later when Munyao moved into the lead and opened up a gap on Kandie. He still led at 15km, reached in 42:01, but Kandie had not given up.

Kandie, who won the Kenyan cross-country title just six days ago, caught Munyao with about three kilometers to go, eventually pulling away to win in 58:58, a personal best by 21 seconds. Munyao finished second in 59:16, just seven seconds shy of the PB he clocked in Santa Pola last month.

Mule Wasihun, who finished third at the London Marathon last year in 2:03:16, took third place in 59:47, closely followed by Alfred Barkach (59:49) and Vincent Kibor Raimoi (59:51).

(02/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopian runs the fastest time ever for the half marathon at Ras Al Khaimah beating Brigid Kosgei

Marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei was beaten by Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh on Friday morning (Thursday night in the U.S.) at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon by clocking 64:31 a world record.

Kosgei, running just her second race since obliterating the marathon world record by running 2:14:04 last October in Chicago, was the heavy favorite to win at RAK and lower the 64:51 record held by Joyciline Jepkosgei since 2017. The 26-year-old achieved the second part of that goal by running 64:49 on Friday, but it was only good enough for second place as Yeshaneh dropped Kosgei between 15 and 20km.

Here are the Ethiopian’s record-breaking splits: 15:07 5k, 30:18 10k (15:11), 45:41 15k (15:23), 61:11 20k (15:30), 64:31 FINISH (3:20)

Kosgei had a three-second advantage over Yeshaneh at 15k, but the Kenyan faded minutes later as she split 15:49 between 15k and 20k, her slowest kilometer by 27 seconds.

Ironically, Yeshaneh finished runner-up behind Kosgei at the 2019 Chicago Marathon in 2:20:51, a whopping six minutes and 47 seconds behind Kosgei’s transcendent run that day. Kosgei is still the unquestioned queen of the marathon right now, but Yeshaneh’s performance at RAK suggests that the 28-year-old Ethiopian could soon become a serious challenger.

Ababel Yeshaneh Birhane is an Ethiopian long-distance runner who competes in track, road and cross country events. She represented her country in the 10,000 metres at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics, coming ninth, and ranked fifth in the world on time that year.

In the men's race Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya clocked 58:58 with Alexander Mutiso Munyao 18 seconds behind for second place.  Mule Wasihun Lakew from Ethiopia was third clocking 59:49.  

(02/20/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie has shifted his focus to the 14th edition of Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon to be held on Friday in the United Arab Emirates

The newly crowned Athletics Kenya National Cross Country champion Kibiwott Kandie has shifted his focus to the 14th edition of Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon to be held on Friday in the United Arab Emirates.

The athlete, who has been training in Ngong, Kajiado County, will be looking forward to a good run as he expects a favourable weather during the race.

Kandie, a Kenya Defence Officer, said that his preparations were good and he is ready for the task ahead as he seeks to run a time of 58 minutes in the distance.

“I’m well prepared for the race and being a fast course, I will be looking forward to running my personal best. I am targeting 58:00. It will be competitive but I believe my training for the last three months will be productive,” said the athlete.

Last weekend, Kandie stormed to victory at the Athletics Kenya National Cross Country Championships where he beat the race favourite and two-time champion Geoffrey Kamworor to win the contested race in 29:57.7.

(02/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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The men's elite field for Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon features one of the fastest ever assembled

Ethiopia's Mule Wasihun, who was third at the London Marathon last year in 2:03:16, brings a 59:34 career best to the line, but Julien Wanders of Switzerland, the European record holder at 59:13, has gone even faster. In all, 11 men have lifetime bests under 60 minutes.

Wanders, 23, has said training has been going very well after his 27:13 European 10km record run in Valencia last month, encouraging him to set his sights on the 59-minute barrier.

"It is a course that I like quite a lot," he said. "My training group helped me to arrive here in good shape.”

The field also includes world leader Alexander Mutiso Munyao at 59:09, Solomon Berihu (59:17), Amdalak Belihu (59:10) and Edwin Kiprop Kiptoo (59:26).

A record 5,064 runners will compete across a variety of race categories, including the half marathon, a relay, 5km and a 1km fun run.

(02/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei set for first race of the season

World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei is among elite athletes who will compete in Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arabs Emirates slated for Friday.

The Kapsait-based athlete will line up in the race alongside her compatriots, former World Half Marathon Championships title holder Peres Jepchirchir, Joan Chelimo, Rosemary Wanjiru and third fastest woman over the distance, Fancy Chemutai. World Half Marathon champion, Netsanet Gudeta, from Ethiopia will also compete in the race.

Kosgei, who is one of the most sought-after athletes at the moment, has predicted a competitive race in the Gulf.

“Friday’s race has attracted a competitive field and promises to be tough. My target is to run well, and to possibly register my personal best in the race,” she told Nation Sport Monday.

The reigning world marathon record holder who resumed training in December after a long break will have Geoffrey Kipsang for a pacemaker. Kipsang helped Kosgei break the world marathon record last year in Chicago Marathon.

“I have trained for the last few months and I will stick to my game plan in the race,” she said.

(02/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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Kenya's Fancy Chemutai targets fast time at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

Two years ago, Kenya's Fancy Chemutai narrowly missed out on breaking the world record at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon.

However, as she returns to the United Arab Emirates city for the Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 21, only one thing rings in her mind, win the race and prepare for her transition to the full marathon later this year.

"I had problems with my leg last year and it was the reason I did not post good results. But I have overcome it and I am looking forward to doing well in at the Al Khaimah Half Marathon next week," said Chemutai on Thursday.

Chemutai came just one second shy of the world record in February 2018 when she won in Ras Al Khaimah in a stunning 64 minutes 52 seconds.

Last year in January, Chemutai ran off an ankle injury to finish second at the Houston Half Marathon in a time of 66:48.

Now she believes she will be strong enough to challenge the course record in UAE, currently held by compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei in 64:52.

Chemutai will, however, be up against a strong challenge from compatriots Brigid Kosgei, who was seventh at 66:49 in 2018, Joan Chelimo (65:04), Peres Jepchirchir (65:06) and debutante Rosemary Wanjiru as well as Ethiopia's reigning world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta.

"I have plans to run the full marathon, but the injury slowed me down," she said. "Now that I am back in action, I will discuss with the coaches and see how fast I can move to the marathon." 

(02/14/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir will be back for another shot at the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon title on February 21

Peres Jepchirchir will be up against women’s marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei while the men’s race will see Benard Kimeli, battle with Mosinet Geremew – one of only five men to complete a marathon in under two hours and three minutes.

European half marathon record-holder Julien Wanders of Switzerland is also in the line up.

A prize purse of Sh32.9 million (AED 1,219,000) will be distributed among leading elite runners as well as the UAE national and age group categories. Registration will close on Saturday.

The annual premier road race hosts a variety of race categories including elite runners, club and recreational runners, people of determination and juniors.

This year, it will also introduce a new relay race category for the first time, while a 1km fun race designed for children will allow families to enjoy themselves as well.

Jepchirchir, who set the then world record of 65.06 at the course, is keen to bounce back to victory this year.

“I have prepared well. I just want to run a good time on the course,” she said.

Jepchirchir, the Lisbon Marathon winner, broke Florence Kiplagat’s mark before Joyceline Jepkosgei slapped a new record.

She is still fresh from winning winning Saitama Marathon in Japan, the Lisbon Half marathon champion is optimistic that despite the classy line-up, she is not worried to take on the world-beaters in a race set for February 21 in the United Arab Emirates.

Kosgei, the world marathon record holder at 2:14:0 set at 2019 Chicago Marathon, will carry his 64:28 personal best, to the quality field.

Women’s defending champion Fancy Chemutai (64.52), Joan Chelimo (65.04), a former world half marathon silver medallist Mary Wanjiru as well as world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia, are also hungry for glory.

But the stars must be at their best to stop the 25-year-old Kosgei, who will compete in her first race this season -and still enjoying a 10-race winning span since 2018 Chicago Marathon.

(02/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Komen
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has been announced as a primary sponsor for the 14th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

This sponsorship with the world’s fastest half marathon is another major endorsement for the race, which recently announced an impressive lineup of world-class elite runners.

One of the leading banks in the UAE, CBD’s sponsorship of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon forms an integral part of its social responsibility strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle, a strategy that has seen the bank previously partner with other prominent runs in the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Bernd van Linder, Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Bank of Dubai, said: “We are excited to be playing a significant part in such a high-profile international event, as one of the race’s Primary Sponsors. As the world’s fastest half marathon, this event elevates the UAE’s reputation as a top destination for elite sport and we are proud to be associated with the race.

“This initiative also aligns well with our overall social responsibility strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst UAE residents. The RAK Half Marathon has engaged the local running community for many years and this year is poised to attract even more participants due to the increase in the category options on offer.

“At CBD, we are all looking forward to the 21st February and seeing thousands of happy, active people crossing the finish line.”

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented: “The world-renowned Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon goes from strength to strength with each passing year, so we are delighted to welcome on-board such an equally prominent partner as Commercial Bank of Dubai for the 2020 race.

“With just under a month to go, the anticipation is really building, so we’d really like to encourage as many runners as possible to sign up and come and enjoy this remarkable experience in the beautiful emirate of Ras Al Khaimah for themselves.”

Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, the popular Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon (www.therakhalfmarathon.com) will welcome thousands of professional and amateur runners from around the world. The annual premier road race will host a variety of race categories, including elite runners, club and recreational runners, people of determination and juniors.

In 2020, it will also introduce a new relay race category for the first time, while a 1 KM Fun Run designed for children will allow families to enjoy themselves as well. Registration is open until the 15th February.

A prize purse of Dh1,219,000 will be distributed among the leading elite runners as well as the UAE National and age group categories.

Among the favorites will be women’s marathon world record-holder, Brigid Kosgei from Kenya, while the men’s race will see Kenyan Benard Kimeli, who clinched back-to-back half marathon titles in Prague in 2018 and 2019, battle it out with the likes of Mosinet Geremew – one of only five men to complete a marathon in under two hours and three minutes – and European half marathon record-holder, Julien Wanders of Switzerland.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...
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Kenyan world record-holder Brigid Kosgei goal is to win the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

World record-holder Brigid Kosgei has promised to go all out and win next month’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

Termed ‘the world’s fastest half marathon’, the 14th edition of the annual race will be held of February 21 with Kosgei expected to set the field alight alongside a line-up of world-class elite runners.

“I am really excited to come back to the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon after two years. My only experience in that race was in 2018 when I came in seventh (with a time of 66:49),” Kosgei said.

“I know that this year the line-up is one of the best ever for a half marathon and I really hope to run fast.”

Having smashed Paula Radcliffe’s long-standing marathon world record by 81 seconds last year in Chicago with a time of 2:14:04, the Kenyan star enjoyed an incredible 2019 where she won every single race she competed in, including the London Marathon and Great North Run where she set impressive times of 2:18:20 and 64:28 respectively. The Kenyan, who will celebrate her 26th birthday the previous day of the race, is expected to kick-start her preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Kosgei can expect stiff competition from a host of top runners, including recent winner of the Comrades Marathon, Gerda Steyn of South Africa when the 21.1km race is run on Ras Al Khaimah’s Marjan Island. Steyn kicked off her running journey in the UAE with the Desert Road Runners Club and distinguished herself by becoming the first woman to complete the Comrades ultra-marathon in under six hours.

Her personal best of 2:27:48 for the full marathon in New York last year earned her a qualifying spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alaric Gomes
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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Switzerland’s Julien Wanders has already smashed one of his European records in 2020, and he will be looking to another record in Ras Al Khaimah

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
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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World marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei is the standout name in the women’s field for the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

Brigid Kosgei who broke the world marathon record (pending ratification) with her stunning 2:14:04 run in Chicago last year, will return to the UAE after finishing seventh at the 2018 edition of the race. Her official half marathon PB is 1:05:28, but she also won last year’s Great North Run – a slightly downhill point-to-point course – in 1:04:28, the fastest time in history for 13.1 miles.

“I am really excited to come back to the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon after two years,” said Kosgei. “I know that this year the line-up is one of the best ever for a half marathon and I really hope to run fast.”

The 25-year-old Kenyan is one of several women in the field with a PB inside 66 minutes. She will line up against Fancy Chemutai, whose best of 1:04:52 is just one second shy of the world half marathon record, 2016 world half marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, who briefly held the world record following her 1:05:06 victory in Ras Al Khaimah in 2017, Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta, who set a women-only world record to win the 2018 world half marathon title, and Joan Melly Chelimo, the fourth-fastest woman in history.

Rosemary Wanjiru, who recently went to third on the world all-time 10km list with 29:50, will be making her half marathon debut.

In the men’s race, world marathon silver medalist Mosinet Geremew will take on Two-time Prague Half Marathon winner Benard Kimeli and European record-holder Julien Wanders.

Ethiopian trio Andamlak Belihu, Solomon Berihu and Amdemwork Walelegn are also in the field along with Kenyan duo Alexander Mutiso and Kibiwott Kandie.

(01/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon Medal design unveiled

The eagerly anticipated medal design for the fastest half marathon in the world – the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon – has been revealed as event organsiers, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority (RAKTDA), announce that over 1,000 runners have already registered for the sporting event taking place on 21st February 2020 on Al Marjan Island.

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has commissioned four medals for the 2020 edition of the world-renowned race – one for each of the categories. Crafted in metal, each medal is engraved with the category and embossed with the individual race distance. While the Half Marathon and Relay medals boast an impressive 90mm diameter with a stylised rotating disk in the middle, the 5KM and 1KM medal designs are solid discs measuring 80mm and 70mm respectively and bear the eye-catching, iconic logo of the event. The medals are made complete with colourful, individual ribbons for each category.

On course to be the biggest ever edition of the event with a record number of participants, the family-friendly race will host a number of categories including; the half marathon, two- and four-person relay, 5km and 1km Kids Run. In particular, the relay and 5km races are perfectly suited for team building amongst school teams of teachers and students, as well as corporate teams, and friends and families alike. A special discount will be offered to group bookings to encourage teams to engage in a healthy and active challenge.

Each participant will receive a race shirt from the Half Marathon’s technical sponsor – leading Spanish sports equipment brand, Joma. Until 31st December, runners can personalise their shirts with 15 characters to wear their name, nickname, cause or running club on the reverse of their race shirt.

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said: “The 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is on track to be the biggest ever edition of the race and we are expecting record numbers of runners to join us. With so many incentives for runners, from a generous prize fund of AED 1,219,000, discounts on local attractions, transport to and from the event, and a variety of races to suit all abilities and fitness levels. We are looking forward to welcoming runners and spectators from all over the UAE to Al Marjan Island to experience everything Ras Al Khaimah has to offer.”

(12/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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Switzerland’s Julien Wanders made history this morning by setting a European record of 59:13 at the 2019 RAK Half Marathon

After Switzerland’s Julien Wanders made history this morning by setting a European record of 59:13 at the 2019 RAK Half Marathon, becoming the fastest non-African-born runner ever in the process. 

Swiss 22-year-old runs 59:13 to break Mo Farah’s mark as Stephen Kiprop and Senbere Teferi storm to success

Julien Wanders smashed Mo Farah’s European record, while Stephen Kiprop and Senbere Teferi secured thrilling sprint finish victories at another fast and exciting edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Friday.

In an historic event which saw a total of 11 athletes break 60:00 – the most ever in a single race – Wanders clocked 59:13 to improve the 59:32 continental mark set by Britain’s 10-time global track champion Farah in Lisbon in 2015.

Such was the standard, that time only saw the Swiss 22-year-old finish fourth as Kenya’s 19-year-old Kiprop stormed to success, running a PB of 58:42 to deny Ethiopia’s Abadi Hadis in the closing stages.

 

(02/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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The Rak Half Marathon was amazingly fast as 11 men clocked times under an hour

Kenya's 19-year-old Stephen Kiprop won the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) half marathon on Friday in a course record-equalling 58 minutes and 42 seconds, the fastest time ever recorded by a teenager.

Ethiopians Abadi Hadis and Fikadu Haftu completed the podium and Switzerland's Julien Wanders was fourth in a time of 59:13, a Swiss national record.  This also beats Mo Farah’s European record of 59:32. 

Hadis led Kiprop until the final 50 meters of the race before the young Kenyan powered past him to finish two seconds ahead.  

The race lived up to its billing of being the world's fastest half marathon as 11 men finished inside an hour, the first time it has happened in half-marathon history.  Five women finished under 1:06:30 which makes RAK the fastest women’s race ever too.

Kenya’s Stephen Kiprop continued where he left off last year by winning the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Friday Feb 8 in an equal course record of 58:42, moving to joint sixth on the world all-time list. In a close women’s race, Senbere Teferi won in 1:05:45, the fastest debut half marathon time in history, with just one second separating the top three finishers.

The men’s field got off to a steady start with a large lead group passing through five kilometres in 14:13 and 10 kilometres in 28:10. 15 men were still in the front pack at that stage, all operating well within the required schedule for a sub-60-minute finish.

The pace continued to increase, though, and by 15 kilometres – reached in 41:48 – Kiprop and Ethiopia’s Abadi Hadis had broken away from the rest of the pack. Ethiopia’s Fikadu Haftu, Switzerland’s Julien Wanders and Kenya’s Morris Gachanga formed a chase trio about eight seconds adrift of the leaders.

Hadis and Kiprop gradually increased their lead in the closing stages. After passing 20 kilometres in 55:46, it became clear they could challenge Bedan Karoki’s course record of 58:42 set last year. Haftu and Wanders, meanwhile, had dropped Gachanga by this point and were 17 seconds behind the lead duo with a larger chasing pack not too far behind.

Kiprop, still just 19 years of age, proved to have the stronger finish and outkicked Hadis to win in 58:42, the fastest time in history by a teenager. It was another big step forward for Kiprop, who first broke through last year when winning the Venloop Half Marathon in 59:44 on his debut at the distance. He went on to win the Usti Nad Labem Half Marathon in 59:41 and reduced his PB to 59:21 when finishing fifth in Valencia.

In the women's race, Ethiopia's Senbere Teferi won in 1:05:45, ahead of compatriots Netsanet Gudeta and Zeineba Yimer, with only one second separating all three runners.

Teferi also set a record for the fastest debut time in a half marathon.

There were 2423 men finishers and 755 women.  

(02/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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Julien Wanders from Switzerland, has set his sights to achieve new world records

The Swiss 22-year-old races Friday’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon and has Mo Farah’s 59:32 in his sights

“We don’t set any limits,” says Switzerland’s Julien Wanders when asked about his training set-up in Kenya. “I have a great group around me, they push me further. The mentality of the team is very nice.”

That no-limits mindset, together with lots of hard work under the guidance of his long-time coach Marco Jäger, seems to be serving the 22-year-old very well and is the reason he’s not ruling out the possibility of achieving an impressive fourth European record-breaking performance in 12 months in Ras Al Khaimah on Friday.

Since setting a European under-23 half-marathon record of 60:09 in Barcelona last February, Wanders has gone on to break and then improve the outright European 10km marks – first with 27:32 in Durban in October and then 27:25 in Paris on December 30.

Now he is getting ready to form part of another stacked field for the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, where a total of 13 sub-60:00 athletes will toe the start line. Wanders has Mo Farah’s 59:32 continental mark, set in Lisbon in 2015, in his sights and says he feels in even better shape than he did in Paris just over five weeks ago.

“Yes, it is possible,” he says when asked about the possibility of breaking the European record during his trip to the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates.

“We don’t know about the weather so if it’s good weather I think it is really possible but I am not obsessed with it – I want to go and try to win the race, that is my main goal.

“I never put a time in my mind. I have something (times in his head) that I don’t want and something that would be my dream and also I want to go for a good position.”

Is sub-59:30 the dream?

“Maybe my dream is further!” he smiles. “Who knows!

“Since Paris I have trained very well and I haven’t had any problems. I think I am in better shape than in Paris so I am looking forward to racing on Friday.”

On being part of such a strong field, Wanders adds: “It is very motivating. I am very happy that they invited me here. I am number 17 in the start list! So I don’t have a lot of pressure, I just want to enjoy being with these guys and trying to beat them.”

(02/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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The RAK women’s race should be as sensational as last year, being one of the world's fastest half marathons

The 2017 champion Peres Jepchirchir, in a then world record of 1:05:06, returns from becoming a mother, and while she may struggle to match the dramatic consistency of her 2016 racing year and the subsequent world record in Ras Al Khaimah, there is justifiable excitement about her return.

Equally keenly anticipated, is the appearance of reigning world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia, whose win in Valencia last March not only gave her global gold but was a world record for a women’s-only race. She also won all three of her half marathon in 2018, and her remarkable consistency over the last four years, suggests there is more to come.

In the field as well is UAE’s own Alia Mohammed Saeed, who’s best time of 1:06:13 came in her debut and her only half marathon in Valencia last October. She was a close runner-up there and her three 10k road wins out of three last year, suggest her competitive instincts are finely honed.

Trying to stop her, from her former home in Ethiopia and only 20 last June, Zeineba Yimer ran five half marathons in 2018, each of them of high quality, and they included a fine fifth place at the world championships in March (1:08:07), followed by much faster times in September’s Copenhagen race (1:06:21 pb) and New Delhi (1:06:59).

Not having raced since that latter outing in October, should see her in fresh and ready-to-race. Throw in Degitu Azimeraw who also has just one half marathon to her name, and the challenge is clear. The winner of her first international race in Kolkata, a 25km just over a year ago, she was sixth in Ras Al Khaimah last year, her one and only half marathon ever, in a fine 1:06:47, to place just outside the world top ten for the year.

The race, traditionally one of the world's fastest half marathons, is this year to be staged partially on the brand-new man-made Al Marjan Island complex, possibly an even faster circuit than in previous years.

(01/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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The 13th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon once again promises fierce racing and quick times

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) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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Former World Half Marathon record holder Peris Jepchirchir will be looking forward to reclaim the Ras Khaimah Half Marathon title next month

Peris Jepchirchir wants to make a comeback after a year-long maternity leave.  She has been traversing the tea plantations in Kapsabet and Nandi Hills in Nandi County where she trains.

“I’m happy I will be going back to RAK Half Marathon next month after good training and my target is to lower my personal best and if possible go for the record,” Peris said.  She is coached by her husband Davis Ng’eno.  Peris told Nation Sport at her home in Kapsabet after her long run.

Jepchirchir, who will making her third appearance in the United Arabs Emirates race, said she loves the course as it allows for a fast-paced race.

“I want to see how my body reacts as my build up towards an international marathon continues. I’m yet to know which race I will participate in but I’m targeting April,” she said.

In her marathon debut in November last year, Jepchirchir ran a brilliant race in Kass International Marathon in Eldoret where she finished third in 2:39:16 behind Cynthia Jerop (2:39:16) and second-placed Beatrice Ruto (2:45:07).

“I had trained for only six months for Kass but was surprised after emerging third. That gave me belief to continue working hard in training where I want to have a successful transition from half marathon to marathon races.

“Breaking the world record is something good and I have been there before. I want to be in the history books again and if I miss it at RAK, I will be going for the full marathon record in future,” Jepchirchir, who looks up to Mary Keitany for inspiration, said.

Jepchirchir shattered Florence Kiplagat’s world record in 2017 by clocking 1:05:06 at the RAK Half Marathon.

(01/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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...

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It does not get much better than this - 2018 RAK Half Marathon

Fancy Chemutai narrowly missed out on breaking the world record at the RAK Half Marathon on Friday (9) on a day when both course records fell. The sea mist that blanketed the emirate’s capital provided near perfect conditions, while record-size mass fields and enormous depth to the elite groups meant a special day was more or less guaranteed. Perfect pacing by a trio of Kenyan men laid the foundation for an epic closing struggle between Mary Keitany and Fancy. The race came down to the contrasting figures of tiny Keitany and the long, rangy stride of the powerful Chemutai. At 20k they were inseparable. Keitany momentarily looked to be the one applying the pressure, but Chemutai shrewdly delayed her surge until the final 100m crossing the finish line in 1:04:52 with Mary 3 seconds back. The pair are now second and third on the world all-time list behind Jepkosgei. (02/09/2018) ⚡AMP
Fast Half Marathons
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Half Marathon World Records were just missed by seconds at RAK

The RAK Half Marathon in UAE delivered. In the women's race Fancy Chemutai from Kenya just missed the world record by two seconds. She ran 1:04:53 just beating out Mary Keitany (1:04:55) and Caroline Kipkirui was third in 1:05:07. In the men's race Kenya's Bedan Karoki set a new course record in 58:42, just 19 seconds off the world record. In second running his first half was Jemal Yimer from Ethiopia (59:00) and third was Alex Kibet 59:06. Seven men broke one hour. RAK indeed delivered. (02/08/2018) ⚡AMP
Fast Half Marathons
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RAK Organizers added a $100,000US bonus for anyone who breaks the world record

The RAK Half Marathon is under way. In a bid to spice up the race, the organizers have added a $100,000 US dollar bonus for anyone who breaks the world record in additional to the 50,000 dollar prize purse. (02/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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What makes the RAK the World’s Fastest Half Marathon?

The RAK Half Marathon (UAE) 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 faster average time for both men AND women will be in RAK; making it the world's FASTEST half marathon! This year’s race starts at 6:30am Friday morning or 6:30pm California time Thursday night. (02/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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4 of the fastest 7 women to race RAK Half Marathon

World record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei and London Marathon champion Mary Keitany are among the star-studded women’s field named for the RAK Half Marathon on February 9. Four of the fastest seven women in history will line up for United Arab Emirates half marathon, with another seven sub-68 minute runners alongside them. Kenya’s Jepkosgei set the world record for the half marathon twice in 2017 after finishing third in RAK last year and lines up alongside fellow Kenyan stars Keitany, Fancy Chemutai and Edith Chelimo. Keitany, a three-time RAK winner, finished second last year, setting a personal best 65:13. (01/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Brigid Kosgei First Race Since Honolulu as she gets ready for London

Brigid Kosgei showed her initial preparations are going well ahead of the London Marathon with a commanding victory at the Eldoret Discovery Cross Country on Sunday. In her first race since demolishing the course record at the Honolulu Marathon in December in 2:22:15 with a big negative split of 1:10:25, Kosgei ran out triumphant by 10 seconds in the senior women’s 8km, crossing the finish-line in 27:31. Kosgei will return to action next month at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Feb 9. (01/28/2018) ⚡AMP
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Defending Champion Karoki Leads Deep Field For Rak Half Marathon

Bedan Karoki is back to defend his title, having won last year in a lifetime best of 59:10. But with 15 men able to boast sub-60-minute bests – two more than last year – his task to win again will be harder than ever. No fewer than 29 men have now broken the 60-minute barrier on the sweeping loops of the RAK circuit. Of the four men who achieved the feat last year, three of them will return to Ras al-Khaimah. (01/22/2018) ⚡AMP
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