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New regime, new course, but with Olympic and world champions and the usual array of speedsters, Saturday’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is virtually assured of the sort of fast times that have been a feature of the event throughout its 17 year history, including three women’s world records.
Pride of place both on the start list and at this morning’s press conference in one of the smaller emirates in the UAE were Olympic marathon and three time world half-marathon champion, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, and keeping the balance in the long-term East African distance running rivalry, world marathon champion Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia heads the men’s entry. The wild card, hoping to gatecrash the party is Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany, who surprised the East Africans when she beat a dozen of them to win her debut half-marathon in Valencia in 2022.
Jepchirchir may neither be the fastest marathoner or half-marathoner among current women long distance runners, but she knows how to win races, an asset far more valuable than fast times. In the seven months between late August 2021 and mid-April 2022, she won the Olympic, New York and Boston Marathons, a rare collective achievement. In her comeback marathon following an injury, she finished third in last year’s London Marathon. And she has won 12 of her 16 half-marathons. She is loath to admit her plans yet, but this RAK ‘half’ is perfectly scheduled as a springboard, to going back to London in April, to upgrade that third place.
Tola was similarly annoyed that an injury preventing him successfully defending his 2022 world marathon title in Budapest last summer, but a speedy recovery saw him break the long-standing New York Marathon record with 2.04.58 three months later. He is one of the few elites to be making his debut in the RAK ‘half’ and the scale of his task may be judged by the fact that on paper there are 15 men faster than his best of 59.37 set seven years ago in Prague. But he suggested that is due for drastic revision. ‘I’d like to think I can do under 59 minutes if the race turns out to be fast,’ he said at the press conference. Fastest man in the field is Daniel Mateiko of Kenya with 58.26, but his colleague Benard Kibet has the advantage of having won last year in 58.45.
Klosterhalfen, ‘Koko’ to her pals may prove to be not only the wild card, but the joker in the pack in the women’s race. A world bronze medallist on the track and European 5000 metres champion, the German called a halt to her summer season last year when a foot injury caused her to reassess her career. She had changed her shoe sponsor, left her coach and long-term training venue in the USA already. She then switched again and has teamed up with Gary Lough, latter-day coach to Mo Farah and spouse of former world record holder Paula Radcliffe (here in RAK as a TV commentator). Klosterhalfen has also switched her altitude training venue to Addis Ababa, where she has just spent six weeks, coming directly to here. ‘Road running is still a bit of an adventure for me’, she said this morning. ‘I still want to run on the track, but I want to do more road races’.
The roll-call of winners since the race began in 2007 is a ‘Who’s Who’ of distance running over the last two decades; beginning with Sammy Wanjiru and Berhane Adere in the inaugural race, via luminaries such as Patrick Makau, Geoffrey Mutai, Elvan Abeylegesse, Mary Keitany, Geoffrey Kamworor, Lelisa Desisa, Samson Kandie and Hellen Obiri. Add to that Jepchirchir herself who won in 2017 in a then world record of 65min 06sec.
The promoters of the successful marathon down the road in Dubai have been invited this year to give the RAK ‘half’ a makeover, and they began by introducing a 10k race for locals and altering the half-marathon course. ‘It’s faster and better than any route before here in Ras Al Khaimah; we’ve cut out some of the sharp turns,’ said race director Peter Connerton, ‘so we’re hoping for at least similar times and hopefully better. But with a couple of good races into the bargain’.
The Zurich Maraton de Sevilla has once again demonstrated its potential in another edition for the history books. The main protagonist was the Ethiopian Azmera Gebru, who won the race, setting the new race record (2h03:27), world leading result of the year, and making the Seville event the sixth fastest marathon race of all time.
The second classified, French athlete Morhad Amdouni (2h03:47) achieved the record of his country, getting closer to the European record (2h03:36).
12 runners have run under 2h08 and 24 women under 2h28, achieving up to eight national records, and the male world leading.
Ibrahim Chakir (2h07:48) and Esther Navarrete (2h24:40) are crowned Spanish champions and get the classification for the Olympic Games in Paris.
The podium of the men’s race, with up to 12 athletes under 2h08 in a new demonstration of the qualities of the flattest course in Europe, which invites athletes to fly over the Sevillian asphalt, was completed with the Israeli Gashau Ayale, who achieved the third place in 2h04:53 and, in the process, a new national record.
In addition to France and Israel, Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa, 4th with 2h06:06; Sweden’s Suldan Hassan, 10th with 2h07:36; Chile’s Carlos Martín, 18th with 2h08:04; and Macedonia’s Dario Ivanovski, 20th with 2h08:26, also achieved their respective national records.
Among the Spaniards, with the Spanish Championships at stake and the Olympic ticket for the winner, Ibrahim Shakir finished in a brilliant eleventh position and won the title. Going from strength to strength, the Soria-based athlete overtook his rivals for the national crown to cross the finish line with 2h07:48, the minimum time for the Games, where he guarantees his presence next summer.
Runner-up with 2h08:03 was Mohamed El Talhaoui, while the national record holder Ayad Lamdassem, who until the halfway point of the race was ambitious and set times that aspired to beat the national record (2h05:48), lowered the pace in the second part of the race to get the third place among the Spaniards with 2h09:43.
In the women’s category, Ethiopia’s Azmera Gebru was the winner clocking in 2h22:13. The African hegemony was maintained, completing the podium with the Kenyans Josephine Chepkoech (2h22:38) and Magdalyne Masai (2h22:51).
In the top ten of the women’s category, where up to 24 runners finished under 2 hours and 28 minutes, new national records for the French athlete Meline Rollin (7th, 2h24:12) and the Argentinean Florencia Borelli (8th, 2h24:18), which, by the way, means a new area record in South America.
As for the Spanish women, Esther Navarrete was more than brilliantly proclaimed Spanish champion in her debut over the distance. And she did so by obtaining the qualifying standard for the Olympic Games and a direct passport to Paris 2024 with a time of 2h24:40, three minutes faster the time required by the RFEA (2h28:00). In the final part of the race, she broke the head-to-head battle with the other great favourite to obtain the Olympic passport, Meritxell Soler, national runner-up with 2h24:57. Meanwhile, Clara Simal from Madrid (2h31:21) completed the podium of a women’s Spanish Championships to which the Andalusian Fátima Ouhaddou and María José Pérez from La Mancha also aspired, although they had to abandon for various reasons after the 21st kilometre.
The prelude to the start of the 39th Zurich Maraton de Sevilla was doubly emotional, with two tributes. First of all, the race wanted to pay tribute with 42 symbolic seconds of silence to the world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died just seven days before together with his coach in a traffic accident in Kenya.
Afterwards, Abel Antón was paid tribute to the 25th anniversary of the gold medal won by the athlete from Soria at the World Championships in Seville in 1999. In commemoration of that title, the medal of the current edition of the Zurich Maraton de Sevilla with which the finishers of the race have been recognised contains the iconic image of Abel Antón crossing the finish line in Seville, whose streets the best Spanish marathon runner of all times has run again this Sunday.
SwissCityMarathon – Lucerne has presented its 2024 custom shirt.
The Salomon Runner Shirt 2024 comes in “surf blue”. The specially created SwissCityMarathon design is discreet and stylish. The shirt is perfect for runs of all kinds – breathable, ultra-light and quick-drying. The SwissCityMarathon – Lucerne has created and produced this in co-operation with the Official Partner Salomon.
For participants in the marathon (42KM) and half marathon (21KM), the Runner Shirt is included in the registration fee. Participants in the CityRun 10KM and CharityRun 10KM can purchase the Runner Shirt 2024 optionally for CHF 25.00 when registering.
Preparations for the SwissCityMarathon – Lucerne are in full swing and the Coop Runners are taking part again this year. Consisting of Coop employees from various departments, Coop is not only participating as a presenting partner, but is also at the front of the race!
Finally, the results of the runner survey 2023 are in:
- Recommendation rate of 96%
- Renewed Participation in the marathon 93%
- Atmosphere on the course score 5.7
- Best Memories: Spectators, finish area and musical entertainment
- Overall impression score 5.6
Konstanze Klosterhalfen is one of the few Europeans who have successfully challenged East African superiority in long distance running in recent years; but the German star will have a mass challenge from Kenyans and Ethiopians in her next venture, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Saturday February 24.
The reigning European 5000 metres champion, ‘Koko’ to her fans, won bronze in the World Championships at that same distance in 2019, but her debut victory over a posse of leading East Africans in the Valencia Half Marathon in October 2022 signalled not only a step-up in prestige but also potential for success in the full marathon. And RAK in nine days’ time will be another stepping stone.
The RAK ‘half’ has been one of the fastest 21.1k races in the world since its inception 17 years ago in one of the smaller emirates in the UAE. The list of winners and record breakers reads like a ‘who’s who’ of distance running. Leading this year’s women’s field and a formidable opponent for Klosterhalfen is reigning Olympic marathon champion and three-time world ‘half’ winner, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, who set a then world record of 65:06 when she ran RAK in 2017. Burgeoning competition and the advent of super-shoes has resulted in that record now standing at 62.52, to Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia.
Klosterhalfen’s debut win in Valencia came in 65:41; and with another former world record holder – Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia (64:31) in the RAK field, the German will not have an easy task, the more so since she took a break in the second half of last summer season, and has not raced for six months. She was understandably cautious this week when she said, ‘Overall I am happy with how my training has been going and I’m ready to test myself and see exactly where I am after a good training camp. I’m certainly looking forward to returning to racing, especially at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon as it is a race I’ve heard a lot about.’
Klosterhalfen spends a lot of time training at altitude in the USA, and in her quieter moments has graced the catwalk at Berlin Fashion Week, and also plays piano and flute; but running full tilt for just over an hour before breakfast will be the order of the morning a week on Saturday.
The Nagoya Women’s Marathon announced today the world’s top women athletes who will compete in the 13th edition of the race to be held on Sunday, March 10, 2024.
The leading names in the field are Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia, world champion in Oregon in 2022 with a personal best of 2:18:11 and Silver Medallist in Budapest in 2023, and Eunice Chebichii Chumba of Bahrain, Asian Games Champion of 2023 in Hangzhou, who has a personal best of 2:20:02.
The competitor list also includes many outstanding international athletes such as Delvine Relin Meringor of Romania, Violah Cheptoo of Kenya, Giovanna Epis of Italy, Eloise Wellings of Australia, Camille French of New Zealand, and others representing China and Puerto Rico.
The local athletes who will face them from Japan are Ai Hosoda, the third-place finisher in the Marathon Grand Championship, Japan’s domestic qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics, who set a personal best of 2:21:42 in the 2022 London Marathon, the 2020 Tokyo Olympians Ayuko Suzuki in the marathon and Yuka Ando in the 10,000m, and 2023 Budapest World Championship competitor Rika Kaseda, all of whom have personal best records under 2:22 and will be vying for the final spot in Japan’s marathon team for the Paris Olympics.
Anyone who beats the Japanese record of 2:18:59 – just set this January for the first time in 19 years – will qualify for Paris.
The pacemakers driving the high-speed race include Sheila Chepkirui of Kenya, who has a personal best of 2:17:29.
The Nagoya Women’s Marathon is not only one of the world’s fastest elite competitions as a World Athletics Platinum Label road race, but it is also known as the world’s largest women’s marathon and a unique festival to celebrate women runners. All finishers will receive an event-exclusive Tiffany & Co. pendant as a token of their achievement. The 2024 race will take place in Nagoya, Japan, on March 10 with 20,000 runners, while a virtual race is currently held from February 10 through March 31, which can be participated in anywhere in the world via a running app.
The world record holder in the men’s marathon, Kelvin Kiptum, and his coach have died in a road accident in Kenya.
The accident took place on Sunday night in the west of Kenya about 300km north of the capital Nairobi. Kiptum, who was driving, and his coach Garvais Hakizimana were killed instantly. Another passenger identified as Sharon Kosgey survived the crash and was taken to hospital.
Kiptum ran his first marathon in December 2022 in Valencia in 2:01:53. He then won the London Marathon less than a year ago in 2:01:25, the third fastest time ever run for the distance, before setting his world record of 2:00:35 in Chicago six months later, beating Eliud Kipchoge’s existing world record by 24 seconds. He was currently training for the Rotterdam Marathon in April where it was widely believed that he could become the first man to run a sub-two hour marathon in open competition.
AIMS President Paco Borao said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Kelvin Kiptum. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time of tragedy. He was a young man who had already achieved so much but was clearly capable of more in what should have been a long and successful career.”
This summer the hella hamburg half marathon is celebrating a big anniversary. On Sunday, June 30, 2024, thousands of runners and skaters will set out on the 21.0975 kilometres through the city on the river Elbe for the 30th time.
As if that wasn’t enough reason to celebrate, Hinz&Kunzt The Hamburg Street Magazine will now be the official charity partner of the event. When registering, participants have the opportunity to make a voluntary donation to the social project.
The monthly Hinz&Kunzt is Germany’s highest-circulation street magazine and does lobbying work for the homeless and socially disadvantaged people. The magazine is created by professionals and distributed by people in precarious life situations. People with few opportunities on the job market are offered unbureaucratic employment, which also promotes contact between the homeless and others. In this way, fears of contact between rich and poor are reduced.
The continued existence of the non-profit self-help project depends on the support of third parties. The majority of the funds required come from donations. Only a third comes from advertising and sales revenue. The magazine, which also celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, is pleased about the collaboration. “Every donation is a sign of solidarity and sets an example against poverty and exclusion,” said Sybille Arendt, press spokeswoman for Hinz&Kunzt.
The organizer BMS The Running Society is also proud to have a charitable institution on its side. “We were looking for a suitable partner with whom we have a long tradition and proximity to the street. Hinz&Kunzt not only makes an important contribution to the integration of socially disadvantaged people, but through its sales model it also promotes the reduction of prejudices against the approximately 2,000 homeless people living in Hamburg. We are hoping for a large donation cheque, which we can present to the social employment project on behalf of the participants on the 30th anniversary,” said Steven Richter, managing director of the race organisation.
At this point in time, more than 6,600 active participants have registered. More will be added by June 30, 2024. On the day of the event, over 12,000 athletes from all over the world are expected. The hella hamburg half marathon would thus underline its position as the second largest event of its kind in Germany behind the Berlin Half Marathon.
In 1992, the Thai Sikh Run took its inaugural steps, courtesy of Siri Guru Singh Sabha, marking the beginning of a cherished tradition. Initially offering a 10k route alongside a 5k walk, the event quickly garnered attention, drawing participants from diverse backgrounds to the starting line.
Rooted in the heart of Bangkok’s inner city, the run meanders past iconic landmarks such as the Grand Palace, Sanam Luang, Defense Ministry, and Democracy Monument, offering runners a scenic journey through the city’s historical tapestry.
Elevating its stature, the event has been graced by esteemed figures including the Bangkok Governor, Senators, Ambassadors, and high-ranking officials, underscoring its significance within the community.
A milestone moment arrived on the 20th anniversary when the Thai Sikh Run embraced the challenge of a half marathon distance (21.1k), attracting a surge of enthusiastic participants eager to test their mettle. Recognition from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) in 2020 further validated the event’s credentials, certifying both the 21.1k and 10k distances.
In a bid to foster inclusivity and inspire the next generation, the 26th edition introduced the inaugural Thai Sikh Kid Run, a 500-meter sprint designed to ignite the spirit of young runners. Additionally, the 27th Thai Sikh Run marked a moment of branding evolution, with the introduction of a standardized run logo, setting the stage for future events.
Not content to rest on its laurels, the Thai Sikh community has recently expanded its horizons, with Sikh runners making their mark in the esteemed ranks of the Ironman competition.
The 28th Thai Sikh Run, held on February 4th, 2024, showcased outstanding performances from participants across categories. Notable highlights included a stellar 1:10:22 finish for the first overall male in the 21.1k race and a commendable 1:27:15 finish for the first overall female. In the 10k category, participants demonstrated their prowess, with the top male crossing the line in 0:37:51 and the top female in 0:38:59.
As the Thai Sikh Run continues to evolve, it remains a testament to the enduring spirit of community, tradition, and athletic excellence, with each edition serving as a beacon of inspiration for runners of all ages and backgrounds.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon (USA) will take place on Sun 13 October 2024, not Mon 14 October 2024 as previously published.
Defending champion and course record holder Bernard Koech will return for the 38th edition of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on 28th April.
The 36 year-old Kenyan, who improved the course best to 2:04:09 last year, will face very strong opponents in Germany’s major spring marathon. Samwel Mailu of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Abdisa Tola, who both produced breakthrough performances in 2023, will challenge the defending champion. There will be another former winner of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg returning to the race: Martin Musau (UGA) was the winner in 2021.
“After two course records in a row we can look forward to another high quality men’s race. Bernard Koech, Samwel Mailu and Abdisa Tola are all capable of running world-class times on the fast course. We are happy that these three have chosen Hamburg for their spring marathon,” said chief organiser Frank Thaleiser, who expects a total of around 12,000 marathon runners on 28th April. Online registration for the race is still possible at: www.haspa-marathon-hamburg.de
“I am looking forward to returning to Hamburg. Last year’s victory was a perfect comeback performance for me, because I had problems for some time and there were the Corona lockdowns as well,” said Bernard Koech, who tied his two year-old personal best of 2:04:09 last year in Hamburg. However, after achieving his biggest career victory in that race the Kenyan was unlucky when he ran the Amsterdam Marathon in autumn. An injury forced him to drop out of the race. Looking ahead to his Hamburg return Bernard Koech said: “Although I broke the course record last year I believe that I can still run faster in Hamburg.”
A fast pace should suit Samwel Mailu, who wants to improve his personal best. The Kenyan newcomer, who is already 31 years old, stormed to a sensational course record of 2:05:08 despite warm weather conditions at the Vienna Marathon last spring. Later that year he produced another exceptional performance. Added to the Kenyan team at very short notice Samwel Mailu took the bronze medal at the World Half Marathon Championships in Riga, Latvia. “I chose Hamburg for my spring marathon because of the fast course. Hopefully I can improve my current 2:05 personal best to 2:04,” said Samwel Mailu.
23 year-old Ethiopian Abdisa Tola will be another top contender on 28th April. The younger brother of Tamirat Tola, the World Marathon Champion from 2021 and current New York Marathon winner, ran a stunning marathon debut a year ago: Abdisa Tola won the competitive Dubai Marathon in 2:05:42.
Besides Bernard Koech there will be another runner in the elite field who has already won the Haspa Marathon Hamburg: Martin Musau of Uganda took the race with 2:10:15 in 2021, when the fields were much reduced due to the pandemic. It was last year in Hamburg, when Musau improved to a fine 2:08:45 and finished in seventh position.
Former world marathon champion Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia has confirmed his participation in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 24; and heads back to the area where he emerged as a world class road runner when winning the neighbouring Dubai Marathon in 2017.
Chicago Marathon winner Seifu Tura and former women’s half marathon world record holder, Ababel Yeshaneh will also be joining their compatriot in RAK. The entry for the 17th edition of the event is expected to read like a Who’s Who of international distance running, as a wealth of elite runners seek to take advantage of the benign Gulf conditions in the countdown for the spring marathons and the Paris Olympics.
Having won Olympic bronze on the track at Rio 2016, Tola established himself as one of the leading road runners of his generation when he won Dubai 2017, and followed that up with silver at the World Championships in London later that year. He won world marathon gold in Eugene 2022, but in the interim he won Amsterdam Marathon 2021, and then topped that with victory in the New York City Marathon three months ago. He has also finished third in the Tokyo and London Marathons in 2022. His fastest half marathon was a winning performance in 59:37 in Prague 2017. His close family also keeps him on his toes; his wife Dera Dida won the Dubai Marathon 2023, and his younger brother Abdisa took the corresponding men’s title.
It’s a measure of the fast course in RAK that his compatriot Tura has run over a minute faster than Tola, but his 58:36 in 2022 was only good for fourth. But a victory and second place in the Chicago Marathon has bolstered his credentials.
Ababel Yeshaneh returns to the scene of one of her greatest victories, having set a world record of 64:31 in winning on the spectacular course around Al Marjan Island in the 2020 race. That time remains her personal best at the distance, although in the full marathon she also has two runner-up finishes to her name in Chicago 2019 and Boston 2022, as well as a third place finish at the New York Marathon 2021.
The three Ethiopians will join elite fields that already include men’s defending champion Benard Kibet of Kenya (58:45) and his colleague, reigning Olympic Marathon Champion and three-time World Half Marathon Champion Peres Jepchirchir, who set her best half marathon in winning RAK 2017 in a then world record of 65:06.
The Eilat Desert Marathon (ISR) will take place on Fri 29 November 2024, not Fri 2 February 2024 as previously published.
Organisers of the Sarmang Dehradun Marathon say they are “thrilled” to unveil the date for the third edition set to take place on September 29, 2024.
Breaking from tradition and moving the event to September’s final week accommodates a more runner-friendly environment, departing from the usual October timeline due to the Indian National Games taking place in Dehradun.
This shift also provides an amazing opportunity for participants to experience the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Dehradun first hand, amidst pleasant weather and breathtaking landscapes.
In an exciting update, the Sarmang Dehradun Marathon has been recognised as an Abbott World Marathon Majors Age Group Qualifier, opening doors for participants to qualify and compete globally. Organised by Sarmang Society in collaboration with Sarmang Adventure Tours, this esteemed event is directed by the highly respected RRCA certified race director Anil Mohan. The founder of Sarmang Adventure Tours and Secretary of Sarmang Society brings his wealth of experience and passion for running to ensure a world-class marathon experience for all participants.
Anticipating an increased turnout from defense services, we’re honored to welcome more participants from this esteemed sector. Additionally, our fervent hope for the 3rd edition is to witness a groundbreaking moment – a new course record for the Full Marathon (42.195 KM). The current record stands at an impressive 2:30:31, a testament to the incredible talent and dedication of our runners.
This event, certified by World Athletics and proud member of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), has consistently attracted diverse international participants, celebrating athleticism, determination, and unity.
Stay tuned for further details and registration information as we prepare for another remarkable edition of the Sarmang Dehradun Marathon. Lace up your shoes and prepare for an unforgettable running experience amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Dehradun!
The 642 Marathon (KUW) will take place on Sun 3 March 2024, not Sat 20 January 2024 as previously published.
The 2024 Reggae Marathon, Jamaica’s premier long-distance road race, is set to take place on Sunday, December 8th in Negril, Jamaica.
Organizers have unveiled a major highlight for this year’s event – the introduction of a new 5K race, that will run alongside the event’s usual 10K and half marathon.
Race Director Alfred “Frano” Francis shared his enthusiasm for the 5K addition, stating, “We’ve upped the excitement by introducing a 5K event alongside the already fantastic 10K and half marathon races. Now, participants can begin with the 5K and progressively take on the challenges of the 10K and half marathon. This inclusive move has ignited a whirlwind of enthusiasm among both corporate teams and individuals. Get ready to feel the rhythm and embark on this remarkable journey!”
The 5K race enhances the accessibility of the Reggae Marathon, catering to seasoned runners, walkers, and newcomers seeking a distinctive fitness experience in the heart of Jamaica. The 5K route commences at Long Bay Beach Park, heading towards Negril’s aerodrome, concluding at the same, beachside finish line as its counterparts. The predominantly flat course is IAAF certified, ensuring a top-tier race for all participants.
Now in its 24th year, the Reggae Marathon has earned recognition as a well-organized international event with a strong emphasis on participant enjoyment. Overseas participants can seamlessly blend their passion for running or walking with an island vacation, creating an unparalleled and unforgettable experience.
Participants can anticipate commemorative finisher medals, official Reggae Marathon t-shirts, and a total prize pool exceeding USD 10,000. The prestigious Bob Marley and Rita Marley trophies await the male and female champions of the Reggae Half Marathon. Special prize categories include recognition for High School Boys and Girls in the 10K, as well as Teams in the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon.
Beyond the thrilling races, the Reggae Marathon immerses participants in the vibrant world of Jamaican music. From Reggae to Calypso and Afrobeats, music is woven into the event’s fabric. Each year, the marathon showcases talented Reggae acts, and while this year’s headliner remains undisclosed, previous editions have seen the likes of Grammy winner Kabaka Pyramid taking the stage.
The Reggae Marathon boasts a trove of glowing testimonials from past participants who have lauded the event’s organization, entertainment, and unique ambiance. Its international acclaim includes being voted “International Race of the Year” by UK Men’s Running magazine and receiving a “Highly Commended” accolade in the Women’s Running International Race of the Year category.
For those unable to attend in person, virtual race options are available, extending participation to runners and walkers worldwide.
This year, the Reggae Marathon also continues its commitment to charitable causes by partnering with the Heart Foundation of Jamaica and actively promoting fundraising for other charitable endeavors. The event offers opportunities for volunteers from diverse Jamaican communities, enabling young individuals to participate in a global event.
The Cracovia Marathon (POL) will take place on Sun 14 April 2024, not Sun 21 April 2024 as previously published.
The Cracovia Royal Half Marathon (POL) will take place on Sun 20 October 2024, not Sun 6 October 2024 as previously published.
The Split Marathon (CRO) will take place on Sun 25 February 2024, not Sat 24 February 2024 as previously published.
Olympic women’s marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, and last year’s men’s winner, Benard Kibet are just the first two of what is expected to be a constellation of stars at the Ras Al Khaimah Half-Marathon on Saturday, February 24.
Jepchirchir’s quality is underlined not only by her Olympic win in Tokyo, but also by her three world half-marathon titles, and the considerable feat of being the only woman to simultaneously hold the Olympic, New York and Boston marathon titles, which she achieved in the seven months between August 2021 and April 2022. For good measure, when she won this RAK ‘half’ in 2017, it was in a then world record of 65min 06sec, which remains her best time.
Her compatriot Kibet is one of many Kenyans who, over the years have been recruited to run on one of Japan’s corporate teams. He is similarly unusual in being one of the diminishing number of athletes who combine track with road running. He is a 13min 5000 metre runner and has several 10,000 metre clockings just over 27mins. But his victory last year in RAK in 58.45 put him in the top ten for the year.
Since its inauguration in 2007, the RAK race has proved to be one of the fastest half-marathons on the international circuit. Ras Al Khaimah is one of the smallest of the seven emirates which constitute the United Arab Emirates. And, though the competitors will have other things on their mind, the race is run around the spectacular sea-side circuit on the gorgeous promontory of Marjan Island. Online entry is still possible at: https://rakcalendar.ae
Given that the RAK race is less than six weeks away, that also means a rapid turnaround for event organisers Pace Events, who have been invited by the RAK Tourist Development Authority to take over the event in the wake of their successful stewardship of the Dubai Marathon, whose latest edition, just eight days ago, featured the fastest women’s debut in history, 2.16.07 for Tigist Ketema of Ethiopia.
Race Director and Pace Events CEO Peter Connerton said today, ‘We were honoured and enormously gratified to be invited by the Ras Al Khaimah tourist authorities to organise an event like the RAK half-marathon. We feel it’s a reflection of the success we’ve had with the Dubai Marathon since 2000. We’ve added a 10k to the RAK programme since we’ve seen how successful the shorter event has been in Dubai; either as a challenge in its own right, or as a stepping stone for runners on the way to a half or full marathon. Peres Jepchirchir and Benard Kibet are the first of many leading names we shall be announcing for the RAK ‘half’ in the coming weeks”.
For online entry and more information please visit: https://rakcalendar.ae or contact Alan Ewens – email@example.com
Agnes Ngetich (KEN) stunned the world again in Valencia by setting a new 10km world record of 28:46.
This is 28 seconds faster than the 29:14 record run by Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) in Castellon last February, and a massive 40 seconds faster than the 29:26 time she herself ran in Lille just two months ago.
Nepal APF Club’s Gopi Chandra Parki won the Nepalgunj Marathon and Santoshi Shrestha completed her hat-trick in women’s half marathon on November 25.
Gopi – who won the 13th South Asian Games gold medal in the 5,000m race – completed the 42.195km distance in two hours, 21 minutes and 39 seconds for his second title in Nepalgunj. Defending champion Khadag Bahadur Khadka of Tribhuvan Army Club came second in 2:22:09, while the 13th SAG’s marathon gold medallist Kiran Bogati finished third in 2:25:44.
Gopi won the sixth edition title in his first appearance in 2019 with his personal best timing of 2:18:59. Gopi said the Nepalgunj Marathon was the best of the events of the country, in terms of route, which is certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS). “It has already become a brand and athletes also get a lot of opportunities after taking part in the event," said Parki, indicating the organisers’ announcement of sending the best athletes to the London Marathon.
Along with the title, Parki received Rs 200,000, while Khadka and Bogati earned Rs 100,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. Sontosh Bikram Bista, Mohan Dev GC, Prem Basnet, Sher Bahadur Budha, Ajay BK and Rudra Budhathoki finished from fourth to ninth and they also received cash prizes.
In the women’s half marathon, the 13th SAG 10,000m race gold medal winner, Santoshi from Dhading completed the hat-trick with third consecutive title. Santoshi completed the race in one hour and 20 minutes and 52 seconds. Fulmati Rana came second in 1:21:09, while the sixth edition winner Pushpa Bhandari was third in 1:23:35.
Santoshi, who also won the seventh and eighth edition titles, lauded the organisers, Creative Hands, for the route. “The best part of the event is the route and the organisers have also managed the traffic very well unlike in other marathon events,” she said. Top three athletes in the women’s half marathon received Rs 75,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively. Bindra Dhanke Shrestha, Rajya Laxmi Rawal and Ganana Bhandari finished fourth to sixth respectively and they also received cash prizes.
Karnali Province athletes Durga Budha and Ram Maya Budha won the 10km open races. Durga won the men’s section event in 31:15.36, finishing ahead of Narendra Singh Raut and Dharma Maharjan. Ram Maya came first in the women’s section with the timing of 37:49.77, while Asha Rawat and Mansara Budha came second and third respectively. Top three athletes in both sections earned Rs 30,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively.
Dipendra Bohara and Kalpana Budha won the 5km races for students of Banke. Yagya Bahadur Khatri, Rohit Kumar Tamoli and Shumsher Ali Behena won top three spots in the men’s wheelchair race, while Deu Kumari Tharu and Shyam Kali Tharu were first and second in the women’s section. Yogesh Malla won the 5km corporate run.
The annual event was organised by Creative Hands to mark the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government and the then Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on November 21, 2006 ending the decade-long insurgency.
Nepalgunj Sub-metropolitan City Mayor Prashant Bista, Kohalpur Municipality Mayor Purna Acharya, Lumbini Province Sports Council Member Secretary Jay Prakash Bhattarai, KL Dugar CEO Pradeep Chhajed and Director Sourav Dugar, and Creative Hands Founder President TS Thakuri among others handed over the prizes to the winners.