Women’s marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe believes Dubai leads the way when it comes to producing rapid times over the gruelling 42.195km distance.
On Friday, in the 19th edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, course records were torn up in both the elite men’s and women’s races.
Ethiopian winner Mosinet Geremew came home to triumph in a time of 2:04:00 and was one of seven men who all ran sub 2:05.
Rising star Roza Dereje triumphed in 2:19:17 on the women’s side and was one of four females to go under 2:20 for the first time all in one marathon.
“To have four women under 2:20 is very quick running and again shows Dubai is the place to come if you want to run fast in the marathon,” Radcliffe, whose world record time of 2:15:25 recorded at the 2003 London Marathon still stands, told Sport360°.
“Six women running under 2:21 was very quick (with a group of them passing 1:10:09 at the halfway stage) and it was a fast second half to the race, but the medals were sorted out almost as they turned into the straight.”
Radcliffe, a three-time London and New York marathon champion, commentated on the race for television and felt that the earlier start time for elite athletes of 6am, as opposed to the normal 7am kick-off, aided the lightning times.
Indeed, cool early temperatures and a flat course including a loop did prove decisive for a record-breaking morning in Dubai.
“Yes, it was very historic and it totally showed it was a very good decision to move the race forward an hour,” Radcliffe added.
“I think you’ve got to run it to tell (whether it truly made a difference). (But) it was more significant that it was run an hour earlier so you didn’t have the rising sun if you like and the heat building up. It wasn’t hot even when the races finished.
“The racing conditions were very good and there was a big contrast in the style of racing between the men’s and women’s events.”
Know more about Sport360 Application