The Presser was held at 11 AM in RIXOS Bab AL Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah. Emceed by Tim Hutchings, TV Presenter and a fine runner in his own right (1984 LA Olympic 5,000m, 4th), the panel consisted of Running legend and TV presenter Paula Radcliffe, Race Director Peter ConnertonAlka Winter VP Destination Marketing & Communications, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, with elite runners Koko Klosterhalfen, Peres Jepchirchir, and Tamirat Tola.

Alka Winter, VP of Destination Marketing & Communications at Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, spoke about how the RAK Tourism Development Authority is excited about the RAK Half Marathon, citing it as one of the premier sporting events in an Emirate that desires to be known as the “sporting Emirate.”

Race Director Peter Connerton, who took over the race in 2024 (and has been race director at the Dubai Marathon for over two decades), spoke of the new course and the 40 elite athletes in the field, which he believes will build a compelling, competitive race.

Running legend and TV presenter Paula Radcliffe, Race Director Peter Connerton, Alka Winter VP Destination Marketing & Communications, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, with elite runners Koko Klosterhalfen, Peres Jepchirchir, and Tamirat Tola at the pre-event press briefing at RIXOS Bab Al Bahr.
February 22, 2024.

Running legend and TV Presenter, Paula Radcliffe noted that, in her prime, she would have loved an event like the RAK half marathon to test her fitness.

Konstanze Klosterholfen, the German record holder at 5,000m and 10,000m, possesses a PB of 65:11 for the half marathon. Koko, as she is called, noted that she is looking to add some road racing events to her regimen as she builds to Paris, where she will race the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. Post presser, her coach, Gary Lough, noted that Koko is quite fit and she will race here for a PB.

Peres Jepchirchir, the Olympic champion at the marathon and world champion at the half marathon, noted that her PB in the half marathon is from the RAK half marathon way back in 2017. Peres noted that she would like to improve on that half marathon PB.

Koko Klosterholfen, Peres Jepchrichir, Tamirat Tola, 2024 RAK Half Marathon, photo by Giancarlo COLUMBO

Tamirat Tola, the 2024 NYC Marathon Champ, 2022 World Champion at Marathon, and 2017 World silver medalist at Marathon (as well as bronze Olympic medal from Rio 2016), noted that his fitness is quite good and that he would like to improve on his 59:37 PB for the half marathon.

Mix those three up with 37 other elite athletes, and you have a field that will be quite impressive, joining thousands of runners over 2k, 5k, 10k, and the half marathon distances! Runners and walkers can sign up on 23 February at www.rakhalfmarathon.com.

The course is pancake flat, with some turns, and all races are on Al Marjan island. The distances are the 2k Family Run, 5k, 10k, and the half marathon, which has been the scene of 3 world records in the Women’s half marathon event, a unique statistic (2011, 2017, and 2020). The RAK Half Marathon will feature $326,000 in prize money (AED 1.2 million), a spectacular amount of prize money for the half marathon.

Tim Hutchings posed questions to everyone on the stage, and then the media asked questions. I was able to ask questions of Paula Radcliffe, Alka Winter, Peter Connorton, Peres Jepchirchir, Tamirat Tola, and Koko Klosterholfen.

The presser took about 43 minutes.

Enjoy watching the RAK Half Marathon presser from today, February 22, 2024.

 

 

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