RACE TO RAS AL KHAIMAH!
COME AND TAKE ON ‘THE WORLD’S FASTEST HALF MARATHON’ AND ENJOY SOME WINTER SUN
THE 13th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates will be held on
February 8. It is the perfect opportunity for anyone preparing for a spring marathon to run alongside some of the world’s top elite athletes and enjoy some winter sun.
Over the 12 past years the race has earned a reputation as ‘the world’s fastest half marathon’ as it boasts the fastest average top 10 times of any half-marathon in the world for both men and women. Several world records have been set there and while the elite field for the upcoming race has not been announced yet (expected in mid-January) the organisers promise yet another spectacular line-up! This is where you’re likely to find the next champions of London, Boston, New York and other marathons.
But don’t get distracted by the big names! There are likely to be a few newbies you should watch out for. This is the race where, in 2012, a then-unknown Dennis Kimetto surprised everyone by winning his first ever race outside of his home country ahead of a strong field. A couple of years later he broke the marathon world record in Berlin. Just last year, Ethiopian Jemal Yimer made his half-marathon debut with an impressive 59:00, the fastest ever debut, and then went on to become the third fastest man ever over the distance.
The event is a firm favourite with UAE residents as many runners from neighbouring
Dubai and Abu Dhabi return to the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah each year to improve their PBs on this very flat course. The race offers a decent prize purse for age groups and those running in teams.
Apart from the main 13.1-mile race, the event also features a team relay race where teams of four take it in turn to run sections of the same halfmarathon course. And later in the day there are also shorter distance events for the younger runners as well as a parent and child team run.
The race starts and finishes on Al Marjan Island with most of the course being on the man-made island itself, running
alongside the waters of the Arabian Gulf. Al Marjan Island is home to several luxury beach resorts which are dotted along the course, making it an ideal place to stay where you could be within walking distance from the race.
February is an ideal time to visit Ras Al Khaimah, with mostly clear blue skies and mild temperatures starting at around 14°C in the morning (great for a run!) and rising to the mid-20s during the afternoon (perfect for relaxing on the beach!)
Aside from the miles of sandy beaches and all the desert activities you’d expect to find in the Arabian Gulf, Ras Al Khaimah is also home to the country’s highest mountain, Jebel Jais. The views alone are spectacular but for the adventure lovers this is also a chance to ride the world’s longest zip line!
Check out rakmarathon.
org and en. rasalkhaimah. ae to find out more.
The race starts and finishes on Al Marjan Island
A team relay is also on offer on race day
February is an ideal time to visit Ras Al Khaimah
There’s plenty for adventure lovers in Ras Al Khaimah