World and Olympic champions to compete at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will also offer 10km, 5km and 2km runs for athletes of all ages and abilities

By Team KT

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Former half marathon world record holder Ababel Yeshaneh. — Supplied photo
Former half marathon world record holder Ababel Yeshaneh. — Supplied photo

Published: Mon 29 Jan 2024, 7:04 PM

The powerful list of elites confirmed for the 2024 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon continues to grow with former world marathon champion Tamirat Tola, Chicago Marathon winner Seifu Tura and former half marathon world record holder Ababel Yeshaneh joining the starting line-up.

The 17th edition of the event on February 24 will read like a Who’s Who of international distance running as a wealth of elites take advantage of the beautiful weather conditions in the countdown to both the London Marathon and the Paris Olympics.

Hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will see Tola make his debut in the emirate just three months after winning the 2023 New York Marathon.

The Ethiopian has a personal best of 59:13 and is no stranger to the flat, fast roads of the Middle East having won the Dubai Marathon in 2017.

Fellow Ethiopian Seifu Tura returns to the race route on the iconic Al Marjan Island with a half marathon personal best of 58:36, which he set when finishing fourth at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon two years ago.

Now 26, Tura is an established distance runner with a number of impressive results on his CV most notably a superb victory in the 2021 Chicago Marathon.

He also has four other top six finishes in Major marathons including a runners-up spot in Chicago in 2022 and two fifth place finishes in London and Chicago last year.

On the women’s side, Ababel Yeshaneh will return to the scene of one of her greatest victories next month. The 32-year-old Ethiopian will kick off her 2024 season in Ras Al Khaimah and has fond memories of Al Marjan Island having set the then Half Marathon World Record of 64:31 when she claimed the women’s title there in 2020.

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 in 2021.

The three Ethiopians will join elite fields that already include men’s defending champion Benard Kibet Koech (PB 58:45) and 2017 Ras Al Khaimah winner, reigning Olympic marathon champion and three-time World Half Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir (PB 65:06).

As well as a wealth of elite distance runners, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will also offer races at 10km, 5km and 2km runs for athletes of all ages and abilities. Registration is open at rakhalfmarathon.com.

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