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Two years after the biggest win of his running career, Kenya’s David Barmasai returns to the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 25 with a wealth of international experience under his belt and his sights set on another victory at the world’s richest marathon.
Since winning in Dubai in 2011, when he took more than three minutes off his personal best, Barmasai has run the World Championship marathon for Kenya and competed in Boston and Amsterdam, but victory in Dubai remains his outstanding achievement.
Arriving in Dubai two years ago, his best was a 2:10:31 victory in the Nairobi Marathon the previous year. Run at altitude, the time suggested potential for a considerable improvement and he did just that with a performance that clinched him the winner’s cheque for $250,000 and a new personal best of 2:07:18 for the classic 42.195km distance.
“It is always nice to welcome back former champions and David was a popular winner here two years ago,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “David is now 24 and has even more race experience from races like the Boston and Amsterdam Marathons. If he can recapture the form of January 2011, he can certainly be a contender once again.
Barmasai followed up his Dubai win in 2011 with a creditable fifth place finish at the World Championships in Daegu (2:11:39) and although he failed to defend his title in Dubai in 2012, he finished eighth in Boston in April followed by 16th in Amsterdam in October.
Following last year’s outstanding event when course records tumbled and both male and female elite athletes rewrote marathon history, runners from around the world have been determined to compete over one of the world’s fastest courses.
As well as Barmasai, Kenyan Moses Mosop (personal best of 2:03:06) is among the big guns chasing the men’s crown, while the ladies event will see the likes of Tirfi Tsegaye (2:21:10) and Koren Jelela of Ethiopia (2:22:43) looking to break the 2:20 mark that fell to three runners in last year’s event – a first in women’s marathon 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 is expected to attract around 20,000 runners spread across the Marathon and the associated 10km Road Race and 3km Fun Run.
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.
In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, 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. Runners who would like to take part should register online only at www.dubaimarathon.org.