The Little Race That Could - Celebrating 5 Years with the Largest Field Yet

Starting with just 636 participants in its inaugural year, the RAK Half Marathon faced a significant challenge to establish itself in both local and international road racing. This new race chose a unique path by not immediately aiming to attract large crowds or offering massive prize money to lure top talent. Instead, it focused on defining its identity and following that ambition year after year.

Establishing a Premier Race

Five years later, the RAK Half Marathon has become one of the premier half marathons globally, for both men and women. It boasts an impressive array of world and national records and currently holds two of the top four all-time fastest times for men. According to the Race Director, the goal has always been to balance providing a world-class elite race with offering the same quality experience to every participant. “We want everyone to feel that their place in the race is important to us, as well as to themselves.”

Growth and Community Support

Much like the determined little engine in the well-known children’s story, this race has shown equal determination and strength. It has quickly gained support from both the local and international running community, with registration growth exceeding 400% in just four years. This includes a 45% increase in the number of UAE Nationals participating. Registration for the 2011 race closed with a record field of 2,066 individual half marathoners and 138 Relay Teams, bringing the total number of runners to over 2,600. Despite reductions in overall prize money due to the recent global situation, the spirit of participation remains strong, with nearly 10% of the field flying into the country to participate on 18th February. Additionally, the 89 nationalities represented indicate a growing trend that organizers and local officials hope will continue to expand.

Future Prospects

Given the event’s increasing popularity, organizers have already promised to allow more registrations for the 2012 race. With just two weeks left until the 2011 event, final preparations are underway, including the announcement of the elite field.

The RAK Half Marathon’s journey from a small, local event to a premier international race is a testament to its commitment to excellence and community spirit. It continues to attract a diverse group of participants, making it a highlight on the racing calendar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Explore More

2,500 Years of the Marathon

2,500 Years of the Marathon
0 tags

The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) will mark the 2,500th anniversary of the marathon by holding its 18th Congress in Athens, Greece, from 28-30 October 2010. The

RAK Half Marathon Delivers Historic Performances with New World Record

RAK Half Marathon Delivers Historic Performances with New World Record
0 tags

The women’s half marathon world record was shattered this morning at the 11th edition of the RAK Half Marathon. A remarkable performance by a Kenyan runner, last year’s IAAF World

How Major Marathons Have Changed with the COVID-19 Restrictions

Major Marathons
0 tags

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted marathons worldwide, prompting organizers to implement new strategies to ensure safety. Here’s a breakdown of how major marathons have adapted: Virtual Participation Many renowned