Keitany Shines While Men Strategize at RAK Half Marathon

Despite the ideal weather and improved course design, the 9th edition of the RAK Half Marathon saw a day of near misses. The men’s race was marked by strategic running and slow initial paces, while the women set off quickly, leading to an impressive performance by Mary Keitany.

Women’s Race Highlights

In the women’s race, New York Marathon Champion Mary Keitany dominated the field, securing her third RAK title with a time of 66:02. Initially appearing to challenge the world record set by Florence Kiplagat (65:12) the previous year, Keitany passed the 10km mark in 31:07, just ahead of Kiplagat’s 31:08. Despite maintaining the required pace until the 14th kilometer, she eventually had to focus on her race, finishing just 12 seconds off her course record set in 2011.

Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia put up a strong challenge, finishing 26 seconds behind Keitany and setting a new Ethiopian record with a time of 66:28. Other notable performances included Cynthia Limo (67:02) and Josephine Chepkoech (67:32), both achieving significant personal bests.

Men’s Race Highlights

The men’s race deviated from expectations early on. A slow start saw the pack reach 5km in 14:33, far from the desired pace. The 10km mark was crossed in 28:56, and despite an anticipated surge, the pack remained tight, reaching 15km with nine runners still in contention. This strategic racing led to a finish time that fell short of breaking the one-hour mark.

Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia emerged victorious with a time of 60:05, followed closely by Daniel Wanjiru (60:06) and Jonathan Maiyo (60:08). Pre-race favorite Eliud Kipchoge finished 6th with a time of 60:50, having struggled from around the 16km mark.

Key Takeaways

While some runners used the RAK Half Marathon as a stepping stone for future races, others found it a useful measure of their current form. The event provided valuable insights as athletes prepare for upcoming competitions, proving once again the RAK Half Marathon’s importance on the international running calendar.

Men’s Results

  1. Mosinet Geremew (ETH) – 60:05
  2. Daniel Wanjiru (KEN) – 60:06
  3. Jonathan Maiyo (KEN) – 60:08
  4. Edwin Kiptoo (KEN) – 60:11
  5. Mike Kigen (KEN) – 60:14
  6. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) – 60:50
  7. Tsegaye Mekonnen (ETH) – 61:05
  8. Abera Kuma (ETH) – 61:07
  9. Demessew Tsega (ETH) – 61:36
  10. Peter Kirui (KEN) – 63:32

Women’s Results

  1. Mary Keitany (KEN) – 66:02
  2. Mamitu Daska (ETH) – 66:28
  3. Cynthia Limo (KEN) – 67:02
  4. Josephine Chepkoech (KEN) – 67:32
  5. Worknesh Degefa (ETH) – 70:45
  6. Meseret Hailu (ETH) – 70:58
  7. Philes Ongori (KEN) – 72:15

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