World record on the line at RAK Half as Kosgei leads the assault


World record on the line at RAK Half as Kosgei leads the assault
Kenya's Brigid Jepchirchir Kosgei crosses the finish line to win the annual "Sao Silvestre Run", an international race through the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil December 31, 2019. REUTERS/Amanda

In Summary

  • The women’s half marathon world record will be under immense threat at the 14th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK)Half Marathon slated for Friday in the United Arab Emirates.
  • The field will comprise of more than 10 women with personal bests of sub-one-hour and seven minutes.
  • World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei will lead a strong Kenyan contingent that also includes former world half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir and the 2018 winner Fancy Chemutai.

The women’s half marathon world record will be under immense threat at the 14th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK)Half Marathon slated for Friday in the United Arab Emirates.

The field will comprise of more than 10 women with personal bests of sub-one-hour and seven minutes.

World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei will lead a strong Kenyan contingent that also includes former world half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir and the 2018 winner Fancy Chemutai.

The field also includes the reigning world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia as well as previous winners of Abu Dhabi marathon Ababel Yeshaneh and Vivian Kiplagat.

Other Kenyans in the race are Joan Melly, Evaline Chirchir and Rosemary Wanjiru.

Kosgei, the London and Chicago marathons champion will be using the race to warm up for her title defence at the London Marathon primed for April 26.

The 25-year-old ran one hour, four minutes and 28 seconds at the 2019 Great North Run and although she ran 23 seconds faster than the current world record of 1:04:51 currently held by Kenya’s Joyceline Jepkosgei, her record was not ratified by World Athletics.

As she gears for Friday’s race, Kosgei is targeting to lower her personal best which translates to a new world record.

“I think Ras Al Khaimah is a fantastic course as several world records were broken on it before. While I’m preparing now for the London Marathon, I would like to break my personal record this weekend for the half marathon,” Kosgei said.

After losing her world record to Jepkosgei, Jepchirchir will be hoping to recapture the record when she returns to the same venue where she broke the world record in 2017.

The men’s field features 13 Kenyans led by Alexander Munyao and the newly crowned national cross-country champion Kibiwott Kandie.

Others are; Edwin Kiptoo, Vincent Raimoi, Joseph Nganga ak Leonard Barsoton.

Featuring 11 runners with sub 60-minute personal bests including European half marathon record-holder, Julien Wanders from Switzerland, the men’s race is also one of the best ever for a half marathon.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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