Kenyan distance runner Brigid Kosgei (© Getty Images)
World marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei is the standout name in the women’s field for the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, while 11 men with sub-60-minute PBs will line up for the World Athletics Gold Label road race on 21 February.
Kosgei, who broke the world marathon record (pending ratification) with her stunning 2:14:04 run in Chicago last year, will return to the UAE after finishing seventh at the 2018 edition of the race. Her official half marathon PB is 1:05:28, but she also won last year’s Great North Run – a slightly downhill point-to-point course – in 1:04:28, the fastest time in history for 13.1 miles.
“I am really excited to come back to the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon after two years,” said Kosgei. “I know that this year the line-up is one of the best ever for a half marathon and I really hope to run fast.”
The 25-year-old Kenyan is one of several women in the field with a PB inside 66 minutes. She will line up against Fancy Chemutai, whose best of 1:04:52 is just one second shy of the world half marathon record, 2016 world half marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, who briefly held the world record following her 1:05:06 victory in Ras Al Khaimah in 2017, Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta, who set a women-only world record to win the 2018 world half marathon title, and Joan Melly Chelimo, the fourth-fastest woman in history.
Rosemary Wanjiru, who recently went to third on the world all-time 10km list with 29:50, will be making her half marathon debut.
In the men’s race, world marathon silver medallist Mosinet Geremew will take on Two-time Prague Half Marathon winner Benard Kimeli and European record-holder Julien Wanders.
Ethiopian trio Andamlak Belihu, Solomon Berihu and Amdemwork Walelegn are also in the field along with Kenyan duo Alexander Mutiso and Kibiwott Kandie.