Koech ready to defend Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon title

Koech's victory last year in Ras Al Khaimah in a time of 58m:45s was one of the 10 fastest of 2023

By Team KT

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Benard Kibet Koech won the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon last year. — Supplied photo
Benard Kibet Koech won the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon last year. — Supplied photo

Published: Mon 15 Jan 2024, 9:24 PM

Last updated: Mon 15 Jan 2024, 9:25 PM

The 17th Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will see the welcome return of defending men’s champion Benard Kibet Koech and reigning world half marathon and Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir.

The Kenyans are the first two of what is expected to be a constellation of stars at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), on February 24.

Jepchirchir’s standing as one of the world’s all-time greats is underlined not only by her Olympic marathon win in Tokyo, but also by three individual 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.

When she won the 2017 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon it was in a then world record of 65m:06s, which remains her best time.

Compatriot Koech is one of many Kenyans 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 and is a 13-minute 5,000 metre runner who also has several 10,000 metre finishes of just over 27 minutes to his name.

His victory last year in Ras Al Khaimah in a time of 58m:45s was one of the 10 fastest of 2023.

Since its inauguration in 2007, the Ras Al Khaimah race has proved to be one of the fastest half marathons on the international circuit with the race staged around the spectacular sea-side route on the iconic Al Marjan Island.

As well as the likes of Koech and Jepchirchir, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will see thousands of runners coming together in the associated 10km, 5km and 2km runs.


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