RAS AL KHAIMAH: H. H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Ras al-Khaimah today attended the Half Marathon, one of the world’s richest races with a purse of US$300000 in prizes for the winners.
2700 runners from 89 countries took part in the race today.
In statements today, Sheikh Saud said he was pleased to see this large number of runners in the UAE as well as to see two women setting new records at the event.
He noted that at the 7th staging of the RAK Half Marathon is a success in itself as a mass of the world’s top road runners gathered for the now annual burn-up around the city.
Lucy Kabuu of Kenya with 1:06:09, the second fastest time in history, and her compatriot Geoffrey Kipsang in 58:54, took the winners’ spoils in the women’s and men’s races respectively at the 7th edition of the RAK Half Marathon on Friday morning. Kenyan strength in depth was underlined as they took the first three in each elite contest, though the contrasting nature of the two races could hardly have been greater.
The women started on world record tempo (5k in 15:35, 10k in 31:18) then slowed slightly, while the men set off cautiously (5k in 14:04, 10k in 28:13) but picked up to run substantial negative splits (first 10k 28:13, second 10k 27:50!). But the resulting times were of similar calibre with both races showing unprecedented quality amongst the top results; the first five men dipped under the hour, including for the first time ever, the first three coming home under 59 minutes, while the first four women went under 1:07:00. Behind Kabuu, Priscah Jeptoo with 1:06:11 not only set a personal best by over four minutes but also became the third fastest in history, while Rita Jeptoo in third (1:06:27) slotted in to fifth position on the all-time list. In fourth, Meseret Hailu with 1:06:56, set an Ethiopian record.
Behind Kipsang’s personal best, which itself was just two seconds shy of the 59:52 course record of Patrick Makau set in 2009, Stanley Biwott’s 58:56 was also a huge personal best and third placed Geoffrey Mutai, with 58:58, also became a member of the exclusive sub-59 minute club with his best ever by 32 seconds; for him, it augurs well for his spring marathon.
Official result of 7th RAK Half Marathon, Friday 15th February 2013:
1 Geoffrey Kipsang (KEN) 58:54 1 Lucy Kabuu (KEN) 1:06:09
2 Stanley Biwott (KEN) 58:56 2 Priscah Jeptoo (KEN) 1:06:11
3 Geoffrey Mutai (KEN) 58:58 3 Rita Jeptoo (KEN) 1:06:27
4 Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) 59:25 4 Meseret Hailu (ETH) 1:06:56
5 Stephen Kibet (KEN) 59:59 5 Florence Kiplagat (KEN) 1:07:13
6 Joel Kimurer (KEN) 1:00:02 6 Helah Kiprop (KEN) 1:07:39
7 Getu Feleke (ETH) 1:00:26 7 Meselech Melkamu (ETH) 1:08:05
8 Edwin Kipyego (KEN) 1:00:54 8 Paskalia Kipkoech (KEN) 1:08:08
9 Daniel Wanjiru (KEN) 1:01:10 9 Feyse Tadese (ETH) 1:08:35
10 Pius Maiyo Kirop (KEN) 1:01:25 10 Ashu Kasim (ETH) 1:08:56