Over 1,000 runners have already signed up for the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, taking place on Feb.19, 2021.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
World record holder and reigning champion Ababel Yeshaneh will be back to defend her title at the 2021 Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon.
Scheduled to be held on Feb.19, the RAK Half Marathon — termed as the world’s fastest half marathon — has also enticed a tantalising field of top road runners, including 2020 London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei.
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority (RAKTDA) announced the race routes and technical sponsor for next year’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.
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Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, the race will once again take place at the stunning Al Marjan Island, with all athletes treated to pristine views of white sandy beaches and the shimmering ocean along the run.
Known as the world’s fastest half marathon, the 15th edition of the event will feature two routes; one for elite athletes and another for runners of all abilities. While the elite route will remain the same as the 2020 course, the non-elite route has been positioned strategically with separate start and finish areas to maintain the highest safety measures and respect social distancing protocols. The elite race will begin at 6.30 am, with the non-elite race waves starting from 7.30 am onwards.
RAKTDA also announced its bid to host the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships, a new global event that will bring together thousands of runners from around the world. The event will incorporate the existing World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, as well as a five-kilometre competition.
Sports and adventure tourism is key to Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism development strategy and hosting such a prestigious event such as the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships will be an important addition to the Authority’s events calendar, showcasing its growing tourism industry and boosting the number of travellers to the Emirate.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority commented: “We are delighted and ready to welcome sports enthusiasts to our wonderful Emirate. Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is not only a world-renowned sporting event but next year more so than ever it will represent a genuine step towards recovery for the tourism industry. The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has proven to be a huge success in the past years and with our bid to host the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships, we are excited to put the Emirate on the map as a top destination for sports tourism, showcasing everything that we have to offer, from adventure, culture and to sustainable and nature based travel.’’
Enrico Fili’, CEO of RCS Sports and Events, added: “It is incredible to see the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon continue to gain such great traction and huge popularity on both a regional and international scale. It is a fantastic event, and we are delighted to be facilitating its delivery in such challenging times. With Ababel’s successful breaking of the world record in the 2020 event, next year’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, with its incredible elite line-up, is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.”
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