April 16th, 2007

Dubai to stage world’s richest-ever marathon

– US$ 1,000,000 Prize Money, US$ 1,000,000 World Record Bonus –
Boston, Mass: (USA): The 2008 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will be the richest long distance running event in history with prize-money of US$ 1,000,000 including a winner’s cheque of US$ 250,000 for both men and women.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the event – to be staged on January 18, 2008 – will have the added bonus of another US$ 1,000,000 cheque on offer, courtesy of Dubai Holding, for a new marathon world record.

Speaking in Boston during the countdown to the 111th Boston Marathon, the Dubai race’s Event Director Peter Connerton said: “We are proud and delighted that the Government of Dubai has shown its commitment and support of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

“Our appreciation goes to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, Mohammed Al Gergawi, the CEO of Dubai Holding, and Matar Al Tayer, vice-president of the Dubai Sports Council.”

The US$ 1,000,000 prize fund means the Dubai race is by far the richest event on the marathon calendar easily outstripping the prize money available in the big five races in London, Berlin, New York, Chicago and Boston.

The winner’s tax-free cheque of US$ 250,000 is also double that of the richest first prize currently available in the sport. The ground-breaking news was
welcomed by many of the athletes and officials gathered in Boston for the world’s oldest marathon which gets underway on Monday (April 16).

“This announcement will bring the sport of marathon running up to the level of other sports staged in Dubai,” said elite athlete co-ordinator and former marathon runner Larry Barthlow. “It’s a physically demanding sport and athletes only have so many marathons in their bodies. I’m sure all runners will be excited by this news and will make Dubai a priority on their schedules.”>

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon General Co-ordinator Ahmed Al Kamali added that it had always been the event’s intention to bring the best runners to Dubai. “The most important people in marathon running are the athletes and they should be rewarded for their efforts,” he said.

“We believe this financial incentive from the Government of Dubai will put the city firmly in the spotlight of long distance running and will be one of the key dates on the calendar for many of the world’s best male and female runners as they plan their schedules for the countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Running in Dubai in January when the weather is perfect and the prize-money is the best in the world will be an exciting prospect for most of them.”

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