Athletics Weekly - - Promotion -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.