Look: 25,000 people run as new women’s record set at Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon

The runners passed many landmarks in Abu Dhabi, including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

by

Ashwani Kumar

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Sat 16 Dec 2023, 9:38 PM

Community members turned up in their thousands to run together at the fifth edition of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon where elite runner Brigid Kosgei smashed women’s record books.

More than 25,000 participants from 168 different nationalities took to the streets of the UAE capital running in categories including the marathon (42.195 km), marathon relay, 10km, 5km, and 2.5km. The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon Village once again served as a vibrant and friendly gathering spot for families and friends with music, food, fun, and family-friendly activities.

The key highlight of the day was Kenya’s five-time major marathon champion Brigid Kosgei winning the women’s category with a time of 2:19:15, knocking a minute off the course record, and Eritrean elite athlete Amare Hailemicael Samson taking first place in the men’s category with a time of 2:07:10.

The marathon runners passed many landmarks in Abu Dhabi, including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Wahat Al Karama, and Zayed Sports City, in addition to Al Hosn Palace and the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Tower.

Elite runner Brigid Kosgei.
Elite runner Brigid Kosgei.

And it was a day to remember for Kosgei as she marked her first appearance at the Abu Dhabi marathon by setting a new women’s record. She finished nearly five minutes ahead of her closest rival, Hawi Feysa Gejia (2:24:03), as Ethlemahu Sintayehu (2:25:36).

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“Coming back from an injury last month at the New York Marathon and then winning here means a lot to me – especially to break the course record as well. This is my first time here and everybody has been great. I hope I will come again next year,” Kosgei said.

Elite athlete Amare Hailemicael Samson.
Elite athlete Amare Hailemicael Samson.

Meanwhile, Samson produced a superb display, completing the stunning city course in 2:07:10 to seal an impressive victory, two minutes ahead of his closest challenge, Kenyan Leonard Barsoton (2:09:37), with compatriot Ilham Tanui Ozbilen marking his maiden marathon appearance with a third-place finish (2:10:16).

“I’m very happy, this is my first Marathon run [after all]. This is my best time of 2:07:10 and hopefully next time I can get an even quicker time. Today is a good win,” Samson noted.

Ethiopian Halefom Kesay won the 10km race with a time of 28:27 minutes, while his compatriot Zenashwork Yenw covered the same distance in a time of 33:23 minutes.

The marathon and relay race combined attracted 2,863 participants, the 10km race welcomed 5,320 individuals, with 7,575 participants taking on the 5km and 9,280 runners in the 2.5 km race.

Aref Hamad Al Awani, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, lauded the “unprecedented” participation from diverse cultures and different levels of physical fitness.

“With over 25,000 individuals hailing from 168 countries, including elite athletes, people of determination, and Paralympics participants, underscored our unwavering commitment to inclusivity within the UAE. This event resonated throughout our community, drawing participation from families and children alike, thereby creating an inclusive occasion for individuals from various walks of life and diverse backgrounds. The event was truly for everyone.”

Yaser Saeed Al-Mazrouei, CEO of ADNOC’s human resources, corporate, and commercial support department, added: “The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon continues to stand as a shining symbol of excellence, bringing together a diverse community in the pursuit of well-being and triumph, to paint the most beautiful picture about the society of the Emirates; An oasis of tolerance, love, and brotherhood among different cultures and generations.”

The organisers announced that next year’s edition will be held on December 14.

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