Athlete Reaches Full Power

The first elite athlete to arrive in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) for the Emirate’s annual half marathon this Friday (February 10th) is an Ethiopian runner, renowned for holding the world record for 5,000m for nearly nine years. Known for her exceptional career and calm demeanor, she has earned the nickname “Baby Faced Destroyer,” though her current relaxed mood belies the intense focus she brings to the sport.

Among her many accolades, she cherishes her first IAAF World Championship 5,000m victory in Paris 2003 when she was just 17. Despite a stellar career on the track, her future plans involve transitioning to road racing, especially after becoming a mother in 2014. Her marathon debut in London resulted in a commendable 2:20.35, and she now aims to test her fitness in the UAE ahead of her next challenge in London.

While preparing for this fast, flat course, she remains in close contact with her husband and coaching advisor back home. The prospect of setting an Ethiopian national record adds to her motivation, revealing a competitive glint in her eye. Reflecting on her recent achievements, including a third-place finish in the Ethiopian 10,000m Olympic Trial and an Olympic bronze, she feels stronger and better prepared than ever.

Her passion for running parallels that of legendary athletes who continue to train and compete well into their senior years. Despite the strong field she faces, including elite runners from around the world, her primary goal remains a solid performance in London.

A seasoned runner from Kenya, with multiple wins in RAK, poses a significant challenge. With impressive past performances and course records, she aims for another victory on this slightly adjusted, potentially faster route.

Other notable competitors include the reigning Olympic and London Champion, and the IAAF World Half Marathon Champion. The latter’s focus on this distance could give her an edge, though she must surpass her previous best to contend for the title.

The men’s race promises excitement with ten runners boasting sub-60-minute times. Despite the withdrawal of a top contender, the favorable weather conditions suggest a fast race is likely.

The 11th RAK Half Marathon will be broadcast live, allowing viewers worldwide to witness this exciting competition.

Elite Participants

Men

  1. Solomon Yego (Personal Best: 58:44)
  2. Abraham Cheroben (Personal Best: 58:48)
  3. Bedan Karoki (Personal Best: 59:14)
  4. Daniel Wanjiru (Personal Best: 59:20)
  5. Edwin Kipyego (Personal Best: 59:30)
  6. Nguse Amlosom (Personal Best: 59:39)
  7. Adugna Tekele (Personal Best: 59:40)
  8. Yigrem Demelash (Personal Best: 59:48)
  9. Augustine Choge (Personal Best: 60:01)
  10. Shadrack Korir (Personal Best: 60:53)
  11. Sondre Moen (Personal Best: 62:19)
  12. Gabriel Geay (Personal Best: 62:25)

Women

  1. Mary Keitany (Personal Best: 65:50, Course Record)
  2. Peres Jepchirchir (Personal Best: 66:39)
  3. Jemima Sumgong (Personal Best: 66:58)
  4. Tirunesh Dibaba (Personal Best: 66:56)
  5. Helah Kiprop (Personal Best: 67:39)
  6. Veronicah Niyaruai (Personal Best: 67:58)
  7. Rose Chelimo (Personal Best: 68:08)
  8. Joyciline Jepkosgei (Personal Best: 69:07)
  9. Gesa-Felicitas Krause (Debut)
  10. Etagegn Woldu (Debut)

Pace setters include athletes like Kenneth Keter and Geoffrey Yegon for men, and Timothy Kimeli and Geoffrey Kipyego for women.

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