January 19th, 2017

Elite Runners Get Added Incentive In Marathon Shoot-Out

Earlier this week, Kenenisa Bekele seemed inordinately confident that he could break the world record in tomorrow (Friday) morning’s Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

Firstly there is his pride in being a multi-medallist and world record holder, who has thus far in his career succeeded in everything he has attempted – except the marathon. That was something he underlined in response to questions yesterday.

Next, there is the considerable incentive of a $200,000 first prize, and a $250,000 bonus should he beat Kenyan Dennis Kimetto’s world mark of 2:02:57. There will be the inevitable pacemakers to help the Ethiopian along.

But Event Director Peter Connerton had added yet another incentive in the shape of a $50,000 bonus for any of Bekele’s rivals (up to five men) who can get under a 2:04 finishing time. That way, he feels, Bekele will be pushed all the way. And of course, Bekele himself can add the $50,000 to his own pot if he wins in sub 2:04.

“Of course, I’ve insured against a world record but when I questioned the underwriters about adding this sub-2.04 bonus incentive, they went away and came back with what I thought was a reasonable additional fee. So I’ve gone for it,” said Connerton.

All that remains is for Bekele and his rivals to do the same. It promises to be quite a race…

Watch it LIVE on this website tomorrow morning (January 20).

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