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While all eyes will be on the main event as the world’s greatest distance runners chase new records and major prize-money, the 2013 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon also gives the 10km runners a chance to shine in what will be a fierce battle through the streets of Downtown Dubai.
Last year a record 9,984 athletes took part in the men and women’s 10km races and with registration for the 2013 event already at record levels, more than 10,500 are expected at the starting line on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard at 7.15am on January 25.
The 2012 titles went to Eritrean Tekle Sahle and the UAE’s Betty Desalyn with superb performances before the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon smashed its way into the record books with a collection of course and individual best times.
In the men’s 10km, Sahle stormed home in a time of 28m:47s to take first place from Ethiopians Kidane Abdi (28m:56s), Dejene Amosha Feysa (28m:57s) and Gazahagn Abera Hunde (28m:58s) who were separated by just two seconds in the battle for the remaining podium places.
The women’s race also saw some hard fought competition with Desalyn bringing the UAE flag home some 32 seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Emebet Adane in second (34m:47s) with Dehininet Demsew Jara – also from Ethiopia – taking third in 34m:51s.
The 10km features the biggest field in the three-discipline meetings and Event Director Peter Connerton expects another thrilling race.
“The Marathon itself is a great occasion with more than 2,500 runners competing over the classic distance but we never lose sight of the magnificent efforts of the runners in the 10km, which year after year provides a dramatic finish before the Marathon runners reach the finish line,” said Connerton.
“Tekle and Betty both ran excellent races last year and thoroughly deserved their wins but if they compete again next week they know they will face a tough test in the defence of their crowns.”
As well as over 10,500 runners in the 10km event and more than 2,500 in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon itself, the 3km Fun Run is also expected to pull in over 5,500 runners making this year’s event the biggest in it’s 14-year history.
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will get underway at 7am on January 25 with the 10km following 15 minutes later and the 3km runners setting off at 10.30am.
The start and finish will again take place in the shadow of the iconic Burj Khalifa on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard with runners having until January 20 to register online at www.dubaimarathon.org.
The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, Adidas, 103.8FM, JW Marriott Marquis, Emaar, Sport 360, Dubai Holding, Dubai Police and the RTA.