Kenyan Mary Keitany won the women’s field in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates on Friday morning, but heavy winds meant records were out of reach.
Kenya’s Keitany followed the pacemaking of Sulti Gure Timbre and her own husband of six weeks Charles Koech, tearing through 9K in 24:48 – eight seconds inside of world-record tempo. But according to a report on the IAAF website, strong winds started taking their toll, and Keitany missed out on the world record, crossing the line in 1:06:49.
In the men’s race, 18-year-old Kenyan Kipruto Koech took first place after a surprising last-minute withdrawl by Boston and New York champ Geoffrey Mutai. Koech crossed the line in 60:40, a 40 second PB for the young runner. The winds, however, hampered the runners and even that time was the slowest winning time ever in RAK by 48 seconds.
Mutai’s withdrawal from the race was reportedly from a nagging sore foot, but the IAAF says it was likely more of a precautionary move than a serious injury.