14th edition of Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon returns to Al Marjan Island on February 21, 2020

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Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, 09 September 2019: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority today announced that the 14th edition of the hugely popular Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will return to Al Marjan Island on February 21, 2020. Professional and amateur runners can now sign up for the world’s fastest half marathon to take part in different tailored races for all abilities, and have a memorable experience in a stunning location.

With preparations currently underway, the annual premier road race is all set to welcome runners from around the world. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, the stunning Al Marjan Island will host the action-packed sporting event where participants will be treated to pristine views of white sandy beaches and the shimmering ocean along the running route.

The popular half marathon will host a variety of race categories, including elite runners, club and recreational runners, people of determination and juniors. Additionally, Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is introducing a new relay race category for the first time; allowing two participants to take turns in completing the distance in a timed format. Families can also enjoy this event with a 1 KM Fun Run designed for children, allowing one parent to accompany the child at no extra cost.

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said, “The 14th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will return to the beautiful Al Marjan Island. Having attracted a record-level of participants in this year’s edition, we can’t wait to see the response to the event in 2020. The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has remained a crowd favourite for more than a decade, with an astounding number of returning participants demonstrating the event’s stature and coveted success. As preparations are currently underway and registrations now open, we are very excited about the future of this annual sporting event and look forward to revealing more details in due course.”

Abdullah Al Abdooli, CEO of Marjan said, “We are delighted to support Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, a world-class event that welcomes participants from across the globe, and further cements the reputation of Ras Al Khaimah as one of the region’s premier sporting, lifestyle, tourist and residential destinations. With Al Marjan Island, our flagship development hosting the event, participants are assured of a picturesque backdrop for the race. The event will once again put the global spotlight on Al Marjan Island, a premier touristic resort and residential destination of choice. We welcome all participants to Ras Al Khaimah and look forward to another successful edition of the premier road race.”

RAKTDA recently entered into an agreement with a new event partner, Italy-based RCS Sport and Events, with the mandate to organise the next edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon. Founded in 1989, RCS Sport and Events has earned a strong reputation for organising some of the biggest road cycling events such as the Giro d’Italia and UAE Tour as well as running events such as the Milano Marathon in Italy and ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon.

Enrico Fili’, CEO of RCS Sports and Events said, “The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is undoubtedly one of the largest sporting events in the Emirate that brings together passionate runners from around the world. We are proud to support Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority for the first time and committed to delivering an unforgettable experience to the running community.”

With a focus on fostering a community ambience, Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will ensure participants experience the best sporting day out for the whole family, against the most scenic backdrop within Al Marjan Island.

The 13th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, which took place earlier this year, was the biggest edition to date and attracted more than 3,600 participants of all ages and fitness levels. It was the first time that the event was held on its brand-new race course at Al Marjan Island.

Further details including the full spectrum of community activities will be unveiled soon. Interested participants can now register on the official website: www.therakhalfmarathon.com

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Records tumble at Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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Getaneh Molla of Ethiopia ran the sixth fastest marathon time in history - on his marathon debut.

Getaneh Molla of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won the 20th edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday with both athletes producing spectacular course records that rank among the fastest times in the history of marathon running.

In excellent weather conditions, Ethiopian Molla clocked 2:03:34, achieving the first sub-2:04 time in Dubai. He improved the former course record – set in 2018 – by 26 seconds and became the sixth fastest marathon runner ever. It is also an unofficial world debut record by the 25-year-old.

Second-placed Herpassa Negasa also ran sub-2:04 with 2:03:40, making him the eighth fastest of all time, while Asefa Mengstu completed an all-Ethiopian podium with 2:04:24 for third place.

In a stunning women’s race, Kenya’s Chepngetich achieved the third fastest time in history with 2:17:08. Only Britain’s world record holder Paula Radcliffe and Kenya’s Mary Keitany have ever run faster as the 24-year-old smashed the course record by more than two minutes.

Underlining the quality of the field, Worknesh Degefa – the winner in Dubai in 2017 – broke the Ethiopian record by 15 seconds to become the fourth fastest runner ever in 2:17:41. Her compatriot Worknesh Edesa took third in 2:21:05.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the event once again underlined its status as a world-class IAAF Gold Label marathon.

Chepngetich smashed the women's course record by more than two minutes.

Chepngetich smashed the women’s course record by more than two minutes.

Molla smashing the course record on his marathon debut and Chepngetich’s duel with Degefa were the undoubted highlights. The Kenyan was having problems identifying her drinks’ bottles at feed stations, and regularly fell behind, which may have cost her the Kenyan/African record held by colleague Keitany, the second fastest in history with 2.17.01.

Molla said he did not know what to expect from his first marathon. “I certainly didn’t expect to run 2.03,” said the new champion. “I was hoping for maybe 2.05 or 2.06 so this is a great win for me.”

While the spoils were shared between Kenya and Ethiopia in the elite marathon, in the wheelchair category, there was a Swiss double with Marcel Hug and Sandra Graf winning in 1h:24m:09s and 1h:41m:03s respectively before the trophies were presented by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Sports Council deputy chairman Mattar Al Tayer and Standard Chartered UAE CEO Rola Abu Manneh.

As usual, more than 20,000 runners also took part in the associated 10km Road Race and 4km Fun Run as the Middle East’s biggest mass participation sporting event celebrated its 20th birthday in style. The event was streamed live with no rights restrictions and is available to watch on repeat at bit.ly/2019DubaiMarathon_Live.

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adidas Runners Dubai captain Lee Ryan helps you prepare for the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Tom Biggs 22/01/2019
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With the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon just a few days away, captain of adidas Runners Dubai and five-time Guinness World Record holder Lee Ryan has provided some key tips and tricks for anyone preparing to tackle the 42.195 kilometres this weekend.

Ryan, who will be running the Dubai Marathon for the eighth time this year, secured another of his world records in 2018, running the fastest ever marathon while pushing a double stroller, in a time of three hours and 27 minutes.

This time he’ll be tackling the race on his own again, and we caught up with Ryan in preparation for Friday.

Having run so many marathons and half marathons, where does the motivation still come from?

In a weird way, I enjoy it. That does get a few funny looks when I say it. I do enjoy the process and the challenge.

I’ve been through a couple of ordeals in my life, so I enjoy the sense of direction.

Sometimes when I do finish a marathon, it can be the next start line. I enjoy knowing where I’m going and what the challenge is going to be. It’s that sense of achievement and also I hope to inspire my kids to do the same.

From all the marathons and world records, what has been your proudest achievement to date?

That’s a difficult one, but from the message that it portrayed I would probably have to say the record with my two girls in the double pram last year.

My main aim was to put my girls in the record books. Obviously kids are a product of their environment, and if the parents can show good health and activity then the children can only grow from that.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your role as the captain of adidas runners Dubai?

We’re part of a global community. There are 64 around the world, in most major cities across Europe and the US.

It’s down to me and the coaching team that all have different skillsets to bring a different conversation and view to the table, to show our passion for running.

People can use it as a community base to meet new friends and just grow their social circle through the passion and power of running.

Lee Ryan is the captain of adidas Runners Dubai.

Lee Ryan is the captain of adidas Runners Dubai.

What can runners do in the final couple of days before the Dubai Marathon to make sure they are in the best shape possible on race day?

It’s about allowing the body, and even more so the mindset, to get focused on what you have achieved so far.

Race day still makes you nervous, but you can only control what you can. Sleep is your best friend in the final few days.

Make sure you have some good food. It’s not about making up for any runs that you may have missed or weren’t as good as they should have been.

What’s your best advice to a first-time marathon runner?

You only get one chance to run your first marathon. It doesn’t matter where it is. It’s about embracing the day.

Make sure you open your eyes and take it all in. Many times people look back and can’t actually remember what happened or they only remember the pain.

Once you start running, take it as it comes and if it doesn’t go to plan and you need to walk a bit, take it in your stride and just try and finish strong to get that medal.

It’s a very early start for the Dubai Marathon. What’s the best way to prepare for the time?

Make sure you get there as early as possible, because that is one of the biggest stresses. Once you are there you can relax and set yourself up.

Try not to dress for how chilly it will be on the start line, because 5k into the race, you won’t feel that any more. The race day is all about having as much fun as you can.

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