RAK is the Fastest Again
11 athletes delivered sub 1 hour performances, and European and Turkish records fell at the RAK Half Marathon where Depar Timing officiated.
The 13th edition of the event, annually held in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates that form the United Arab Emirates, saw very fast times as expected. Stephen Kiprop of Kenya was victorious with 58:42, followed by Ethiopia’s Abadi Hadis in 58:44. Fikadu Haftu, another Ethiopian, finished third in 59:08.
The 23-year-old Swiss star Julien Wanders, who crossed the finish line in 59:13 in fourth, broke Mo Farah’s European record of 59:32 standing since 2015. Kaan Kigen Özbilen, the last man in the field finishing under an hour, bettered his Turkish record to 59:48, a 20-second improvement from his 1:00:08 in Istanbul last year.
Following a close battle among three Ethiopians until the last meters, the women’s race was won by Senbere Teferi with a national record time of 1:05:45. Runner-up Netsanet Gudeta, the reigning World Half Marathon champion, was credited the same time for her second position. Zeineba Yimer took the third in 1:05:46, only a second slower than her compatriots.
Promoted as “the Fastest Half Marathon in the World”, RAK Half Marathon became the first ever event that 11 men dipped under 60 minutes. Timing services in RAK Half Marathon were provided by the local Premier Timing, and Depar Timing acted as the Assisting Timing Company as it was the case for the previous 12 editions.