Friday’s RAK Half-Marathon in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE could see new world records set. The event, known as one of the fastest and wealthiest races in the world, will see 10 men with personal bests under 1:00:00 and nine women with with times under 1:07:00 toe the line.
The fastest of those women is marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei, who shattered the previous record at the 2019 Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04. Other women on the list are Fancy Chemutai, whose personal best is 1:04:52, and Joan Melly, who has run 1:05:04. All of these women are from Kenya. The current women’s half-marathon record is 1:04:51, run by Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2017. Kosgei has since run under the record (a 1:04:28 at the Great North Run in Newcastle), but it was not ratifiable as it was run on a point-to-point course.
Press Conference ?
See you on friday for the race at 7.00 am local time
— Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon (@rakhalfmarathon) February 19, 2020
Of the 10 men who’ve run under 1:00:00, there are three who stand a chance at breaking Geoffrey Kamworor’s 58:01, set in 2018. Julien Wanders owns a personal best of 59:13, Andamlak Belihu has run 59:10 and Alexander Mutiso has the fastest incoming seed at 59:09.
Relative to the women, it’s less likely that the men’s record falls. Kamworor’s 58:01 was the equivalent of running two world-standard-achieving 10,000m times, and then continuing for another 1.1K. Also, the second-fastest time in history was run by Abraham Kiptum at 58:18 in October 2018. Kiptum has since received a four-year suspension for a biological passport infraction.
The race boasts just shy of $500,000 CAD in prize money and will run Friday morning at 7 a.m. local time (which is 10 p.m. ET on Thursday evening).