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Dubai (UAE): With less than three weeks until entries close, event officials are expecting a record number of entries in the 2010 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, which will take to the streets of the emirate on January 22.
With three events open to the public – the 42.2km Marathon itself plus the 10km road race and 3km Fun Run – entry numbers are already up on this time last year. And with the legendary Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie again gunning for a new world record, even more runners are expected to register before the closing date of December 31.
“In the Marathon, we are already 50% up on runner figures from this time in 2008, while the 10km alone is showing an increase of 80% in numbers over this stage of registration twelve months ago,” said Event Director Peter Connerton.
“We have seen some wonderful high profile sporting events recently with F1 and the Dubai World Championship bringing the best drivers and golfers to the UAE. For running fans, our event provides a chance to actually compete alongside one of the biggest names in athletics so we are looking forward to even more people of all ages and nationalities registering to run in the three events.”
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 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will accept registrations up to the end of the month either at any Dubai branch of Fitness first or online at www.dubaimarathon.org.
As well as runners from across the UAE, the growth of what is known as “marathon tourism” is being reflected at the world’s richest marathon with groups of amateur athletes from countries as far afield as Japan and Italy coming to experience the atmosphere of the event.
“We are always pleased to welcome groups of runners from countries across the world,” added Ahmed Al Kamali, Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon General Co-ordinator, President of the UAE Athletics Federation and Al Ahli Club Board Member.
“As the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has grown in stature thanks to the support of our sponsors and the Government of Dubai, more and more people are learning about the benefits of a race in the UAE. The weather is generally fine and, with a flat course, there is a chance of combining a personal best with a holiday and a visit to some of Dubai’s many attractions.”
In addition to title sponsors Standard Chartered, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is supported by Dubai Holding, Dubai Sports Council, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, ARN and DMI, TNT, Fitness First, Men’s Fitness, Vittel Water, RTA, Dubai Municipality and the Dubai Emergency Services.