Sunday, April 14, 2024

Daniel Mateiko and Tsigi Gebreslema win 2024 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in cool fog with 5,700 mates

In its seventeenth 12 months, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon was an enormous success as we speak.

The race started at 7 AM, native time, with a cool temperature of 61 levels and 63 levels at 8.48 AM native time. Fog on the Al Marjan Island, stored the situations unusually cool.

That is the seventeenth 12 months of the quickest half marathon on the earth.

The prize purse, the envy of many main marathons worldwide, is $326,000, which is 1.2 million AED.

This 12 months is the primary 12 months of administration by Tempo Occasions, which is the corporate that manages the Dubai Marathon, the biggest marathon within the U.A.E.

The United Arab Emirates, based in 1971, is seven states or Emirates on this area. In its seventeenth 12 months, the Emirates, together with The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, was an enormous success as we speak.

The race started at 7 AM, native time, with a cool temperature of 61 levels and 63 levels at 8.48 AM native time. Fog on the Al Marjan Island stored the situations unusually cool.

This 12 months is the primary 12 months of administration by Tempo Occasions, which is the corporate that manages the Dubai Marathon, the biggest marathon within the U.A.E.

The United Arab Emirates, based in 1971, is seven states or Emirates on this area. The Emirates embrace Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. The U.A.E. has the sixth most important oil and pure fuel assets on the earth and had 509 billion in GDP (estimate) in 2023.

The U.A.E. is targeted on constructing tourism within the Emirates, figuring out that sometime, pure assets like oil and pure fuel is not going to present the sustenance for the nation’s development.

Whereas staying within the RIXOS resort, I met households from Poland, Romania, England, Italy, and just about throughout, as that is the right time to go away dreary Europe for some solar and rest.

That’s what the Ras Al Khaimah Vacationer Growth Authority hopes as properly.

Daniel Mateiko wins the 2024 RAK Half Marathon, picture by Giancarlo Columbo

The RAK half marathon is a part of a year-long calendar in Ras Al Khaimah, destined to construct a popularity for RAK to be often known as the sports activities and journey capital of the Emirates.

As of as we speak, the United Arab Emirates has 3 world-class operating occasions. In January, the Dubai Marathon occurs, with 20,000 within the 4k, 10k and marathon. The Dubai Marathon pays a hefty prize purse. Nonetheless, no look cash, and it caters to many rising athletes in East Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti) every year who come to Dubai to let the world know that they’re right here. In December, the Abu Dhabi Marathon ends the operating 12 months within the United Arab Emirates.

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is quick and has a beautiful prize purse, an excellent course, a superb host resort, a fascinating presser, and nice meals.

This 12 months, the host resort, courtesy of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Growth Company, is the RIXOS Bab Al Bahr. An all-inclusive trip spot, the RIXOS has nice meals, nice booze, nice sporting actions, and a beautiful seaside, catering to households, mates, and group holidays, all for a remarkedly affordable worth (together with flying into one of the trendy and largest airports on the earth, the Dubai Worldwide).

13.1 miles is likely one of the hottest distances for racing on the earth. Many runners use that distance to check their health previous to a marathon. Some mix 5k races, 10k races, and a half marathon to construct as much as the marathon. Effectively, the RAK half marathon, run in late February, is a near-perfect time to race within the United Arab Emirates, with cool climate (the 60s) and a flat, flat (did I point out the course is pancake flat?) and competitors in any respect ranges, from elite to citizen runners to freshmen.

A part of the advantage of staying on the RIXOS, the official resort of the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon, is that friends get free entry into the RAK races (2k, 5k, 10k, half marathon).

The elite fields featured 40 of the best athletes on the earth, specifically, runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and, this 12 months, Germany.

As he at all times does, this author constructed up his fantasy race earlier than the race. The Males’s race would have a large forged of characters on this fantasy. Nevertheless, in the long run, Tamirat Tola, the person who tamed Central Park together with his 2:04.58 win within the Large Apple on his fourth strive, would battle Bernard Kibet Koech, the champion from 2023. Tola is well-known in Ethiopia (bronze, Rio 2016, 10,000m, 2022 Tokyo Marathon champ, 2023 NYC Marathon champ, plus gold, Eugene 2022 WC marathon, and silver 2017 London WC marathon. On prime of that, Tamirat received this little marathon in Dubia in 2017), and plenty of questioned the place his form was right now of the 12 months. Tamirat advised this author that he was fairly match and hoped to enhance his PB within the half marathon, which is 59.37. Bernard Kibet Koech, the winner of the RAK half marathon final 12 months, has PBs at 5,000m on the observe, 13:00.37 from November 2023, and 26:55 for the ten,000m from 2022. Once I grabbed Benard for 5 minutes on Friday, Mr. Kibet Koech advised me that he was match and he needed a brand new half marathon PB, however his main focus in 2024 was quick 5,000m and 10,000m on the observe so he could possibly be chosen by the Kenyan Federation for Paris 2024.

The issue was that they didn’t inform Daniel Kibet Mateiko about their plans.

Daniel Kibet Mateiko is a part of the NN Operating staff juggernaut.

Coached by the long-lasting Patrick Sang (who is aware of a bit about international medals, possessing two within the steeplechase), Daniel Kibet Mateiko is, properly, a little bit of a half marathon aficionado. Bear in mind, Mr. Mateiko has some nice 25-lap velocity, having taken eighth within the Eugene 2022 World Champs 10,000m.

Daniel has been sixth in RAK in 2022, with 58.45. In 2023, Daniel was second in RAK at 58.49. His PB is 58.26 from the quick Valencia half in 2021.

Daniel stated, “ My coach advised me I used to be in good condition. I needed to win right here, as I used to be second final 12 months and sixth the 12 months earlier than.”

And that’s precisely what he did. A pack of 18 hit the 5k in 14:02, then twelve on the 10k in 28:01 (13:59), and by 15k (42:03), one other 14:02 for 43:03, the race was on!

The pack had dropped to 3, as Tamirat Tola was having a troublesome day, having fallen off previous to 10k, after which fought again, finally ending seventh in 59.46.

Chasing Daniel Mateiko was John Korir, who was not giving up. Isaia Kipkoech Lasoi was additionally stuffed with resolve.

It was these three that might take the race below 59 minutes.

Daniel Mateiko, KEN, bought his want, profitable the RAK half marathon in 58:45. In second, John Kipkosgei Korir, KEN, will open many eyes around the globe, as his PB (60:27) improved by a powerful 1:37!) together with his 58:50.

In a post-race dialog with Daniel Mateiko, Daniel advised us that he felt the wind however was decided to win the race and run a PB. “ My subsequent race is in London, and I need to run properly so I can run in Paris.” That may be a massive aim for a debut marathoner, however Daniel Mateiko has some critical wheels and confirmed that velocity in Ras Al Khaimah as we speak. In London in two months, Daniel should pay attention very intently to Coach Patrick Sang and present a lot endurance.

Isaia Kipkoech Lasoi ran 58:55 for third in a robust PB by 32 seconds. Lasoi was getting beat up a bit, however he held on and was rewarded for his dedication.

In 4th was Gerba Dibaba, ETH in 59:38, who eeked out a PB by one second within the cool and windy situations. Benard Kibet Koech, the defending champion, ran 59:42 in an off-race for the Kenyan star.

Berhanu Legese completed sixth in 59:43. Tamirat Tola had a troublesome day within the workplace, ending seventh in 59:46. Amos Kibiwott was eighth in 59:51, with Boki Diriba, ETH in 60:10, a PB by 24 seconds, taking ninth. The tenth place, Alphonse Felix Simbu, TAN, ran 60:28.

The world of elite street racing just isn’t a mild place. There are lots of carcasses left alongside the street, so to talk. And that is simply the half marathon distance.

Success on the half marathon distance doesn’t assure success on the marathon. Even tremendous sneakers don’t even the taking part in discipline; some can deal with the tempo, and a few cannot. We are going to discover out extra concerning the success of the RAK prime ten this spring, as many run in spring races, hoping towards hope to be chosen for groups in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda, amongst others.

The ladies’s elite race was a curious race, to say the least.

The media focus was Peres Jepchirchir and Konstanze Klosterholfen. Each athletes had been recovering from accidents, and whereas each spoke with confidence, anybody with some expertise in our fickle sport is aware of that one should be cautious getting back from the damage cycle.

Peres Jepchirchir is the 2021 Tokyo Olympic champion, 2021 NYC Marathon champion, and 2022 Boston Marathon champion. Her marathon PB goes again to 2020 and the Valencia Marathon, the place she ran 2:17.01. Her PB within the half marathon goes again to 65.06, and the 2017 RAK. This was her first return go to. Oh, and final October, Peres received the World Champs half marathon in Riga, Latvia, in 67.25. And final April, Peres Jepchirchir had received London in 2:18.38. She was a superb guess by anybody’s requirements.

Konstanze Klosterholfen can be getting back from damage. A PB on the half marathon is 65:41, the quantity two time in Europe. Koko, as she is named, is the Nationwide report holder on the 5,000m (14:26.71) and 10,000m (31:01.07).

Konstanze had taken the bronze within the scorching and humid Doha 2019 World Champs. In Tokyo 2021, Konstanze took eighth within the 10,000m, however her massive win was the 5,000m on the 2022 European Champs, the place, in entrance of a boisterous German crowd, Konstanze Klosterholfen took the gold within the 12.5 lapper, 5,000 meters of pure guts.

Konstanze has had appreciable adjustments within the final two years. Altering shoe manufacturers, from NIKE to PUMA, and altering teaching conditions, from Peter Julian to Gary Lough. Gary has been working with Konstanze for a number of months, with the 2 simply coming back from Addis Abbaba, with seven weeks of excessive altitude coaching, the place Gary famous that Konstanze had moved into his coaching routine properly, but in addition noting that it was fairly early.

This author stored that at the back of his mind.

Tsigi Gebreselama, 2024 RAK Half Marathon, picture by Giancarlo Colombo

The ladies’s race went out fairly properly, operating constant 3:07 to three:10 kilometer splits, a bit saner than the lads. A pack, together with a who’s who of girls’s elite operating in East Africa, bought the race off properly.

Gete Alemayhu, Peres Jepchirchir, Catherine AMango’Ole, Evaline chrichir, Jackline Sakilu, Arabel Yeshaneh, Margearet Chelimo Chelimo and Konstanze Klosterholfen.

The pack maintained a closeness, hitting 3:08, 30:07, 3:05, 3:07, 3:05 through 5k (15:32) and three:10, 3:09, 3:09, 3:04, 3:05, 3:10 (15:42) for a 31:04 at 10k.

Konstanze Klosterholfen pushed the tempo, main the entrance pack a lot of the primary 8k, however had some difficulties after that, and Coach Gary Lough had her withdraw from the competitors.

Peres Jepchirchir was having some problem, however she fought the nice combat.

The athletes who was spectacular had been Tsigie Gebreselama, who had just lately received the Ethiopian Olympic Trials for 10,000m, (she was silver within the World XC in Bathurst, Australia final 12 months and 4th within the half marathon in Riga, Latvia within the World Street Racing Champs.

From 14k to the end, this was the Tsigie Gebreselama present. The 23-year-old, together with her lengthy stride, confirmed poise and focus as she busted open the race and put 30 seconds on the athlete that I believed would spoil the race, Ababel Yeshaneh.

Tsigie Gebreselama, ETH received in PB of 65.14. Ababel Yeshaneh, ETH, was the one different athlete below 66 minutes, in 65:44. Jackline Juma Sakilu, TAN, took third in 66:04. In 4th, Margaret Chelimo Chelimo ran 66:31.
Fifth was Evaline Chirchir, KEN, in 66:36, with Catherine Amanag’Ole taking sixth in 66:49.

Peres Jepchirchir held onto seventh in 67:19, with Gete Alemayehu, ETH, in 67:25.

This author’s observations are that the chilly and the fog might have slowed the race down as we speak, in addition to the 90 p.c humidity.

In talking with the citizen runners, I used to be advised of overwhelming satisfaction with the race, volunteers, race administration, and course.

In talking with Tsigie Gebreselama, I had an articulate, fairly spoken athletic warrior. Tsigie has some actual leg velocity, having simply received the ten,000 Nationwide Champs in Nairobi, Kenya, in altitude influenced 32:59.1.

Once I requested her about her wishes in Paris, she stated she was not making an attempt to run in Paris as “it was too early.”

Maybe we’re seeing the start of the subsequent technology of Ethiopian superstars, as Tsigie Gebreselama has foreshadowed with this assured win in Ras Al Khaimah.


Particular because of Alan Ewans, Comms director, and Peter Connorton, Race Director at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, for inviting me. And as Daniel Mateiko famous, this goes for me as properly: “I need to be again on the RAK Half marathon subsequent 12 months.”

Watch the published at:

Outcomes – Males
1 Daniel Mateiko KEN 58:45
2 John Korir KEN 58:50
3 Isaia Lasoi KEN 58:55
4 Gerba Dibaba ETH 59:38
5 Benard Koech KEN 59:42
6 Birhanu Legese ETH 59:43
7 Tamirat Tola ETH 59:46
8 Amos Kibiwot KEN 59:51
9 Boki Diriba ETH 60:10
10 Alphonce Simbu TAN 60:28

Outcomes – Ladies
1 Tsigie Gebreselama ETH 65:14
2 Ababel Yeshaneh ETH 65:44
3 Jackline Sakilu TAN 66:05
4 Margaret Chelimo KEN 66:31
5 Evaline Chirchir KEN 66:36
6 Catherine Amanang’ole KEN 66:49
7 Peres Jepchirchir KEN 67:19
8 Gete Alemayehu ETH 67:25
9 Megertu Alemu ETH 69:23
10 Ashete Bekere ETH 70:03

About Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Growth Authority (RAKTDA)

The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Growth Authority (RAKTDA) was established in Might 2011 below the federal government of Ras Al Khaimah. RAKTDA goals to develop the Emirate’s tourism infrastructure and set up Ras Al Khaimah as a world-class vacation spot for leisure and enterprise journey, creating sustainable funding alternatives and enhancing the standard of life for its residents. As a way to obtain its objectives, the Authority has a authorities mandate to license, regulate, and monitor the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality trade.

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