ELITE FIELDS TAKE SHAPE FOR DUBAI MARATHON IN JANUARY 2024
Dubai (UAE): With less than a month to go, the elite fields are taking shape for the first international marathon of the new year – the 2024 Dubai Marathon – which will take place on January 7.
A host of international runners from the African powerhouse nations of Kenya and Ethiopia have already added Dubai to their racing calendars, with Rotterdam and Osaka Marathon winner Haiven Hailu Desse of Ethiopia and 2023 Rome Marathon champion Betty Chepkwony of Kenya looking to add to their title collection in the women’s field.
Still only 25, Hailu has already excelled over the marathon distance with those victories in the Netherlands in April 2022 (2:22:01) and a year later in Japan (2:21:13), while her personal best of 2:20:19 came when finishing third in the Amsterdam Marathon of 2019.
Kenyan Chepkwony made her breakthrough on the international marathon scene by winning the Rome Marathon nine months ago in a personal best time of 2:23:02. It was a telling statement from the 28-year-old who trailed early on inside the first 10km and then fell 17 seconds behind at half-way, before showing remarkable resilience to claw back the time to win and better her previous personal best by a massive seven minutes and 26 seconds.
In the men’s field, Ethiopians Workineh Tadese Mandefro and Kebede Tulu Wami lead the way with, looking to win their first Dubai Marathon titles. A personal best of 2:05:07 from the Hamburg Marathon in 2022 was a major improvement on Tadese’s marathon journey, shaving more than two minutes of his previous PB set at the Amsterdam Marathon six months earlier.
Another of the fastest elite men, Ethiopian Kebede Tulu Wami, has been on a steady upward journey in his short marathon journey.
Since finishing eighth at the 2020 Mumbai Marathon, he has consistently lowered his personal best every time he has completed the marathon distance. Marathons in Slovakia, Italy, the Netherlands, and Barcelona culminated in a new personal best of 2:05:19 and second place at the Seville Marathon in February 2023.
“The elite field is looking strong with several more names to be confirmed in the coming weeks,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “The athletes are excited about the event returning to the flat and fast course around Umm Suqeim, the Burj Al Arab, and the Jumeirah Beach Road, which is renowned for delivering fast times.”
Workineh Tadese, photo from PACE Events
Runners who have still not registered for the three-race event can sign up for the Marathon, the 10km, and the 4km Fun Run at dubaimarathon.org. Holders of a valid UAE residence visa and UAE driving license can also enter a special prize draw to win an EXEED RX, courtesy of EXEED by Al Ghurair, the renowned premium vehicle brand represented by AG Auto in the UAE.
The 2024 Dubai Marathon is supported by adidas, Dubai Duty Free, EXEED by Al Ghurair, the Channel 4 Radio Network, the ITP Media Group, the Dubai Sports Council, Dubai RTA, Dubai Police, and Dubai Municipality.