Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Events

Kenyans Dominate RAK Half Marathon

The top-5 men all broke 60 minutes.

The top-5 men all broke 60 minutes. 

(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. 

In what could have been the best-ever dual meet between Kenyan and Ethiopian teams in a half marathon, athletes smoked the flat desert course in Ras Al Khaimah at the 7th RAK Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates producing sensational results. The top-3 men — Kenyans Geoffrey Kipsang, Stanley Biwott and Geoffrey Mutai — all broke 59 minutes, the first time that has ever happened in a single race. The top-4 women all broke 67 minutes, including winner Lucy Kabuu of Kenya, whose 1:06:09 was the #2 time in history.

“Based on top 10 average, RAK half-marathon is the fastest half marathon in the world,” proclaimed independent statistician Ken Nakamura in an e-mail message. “The top-10 average (life-to-date) is 59:04.36.”

Helped by cool temperatures (13C/55F), both races went out fast. The women hit 5 kilometers in 15:35, while the men ran a slightly more conservative 14:02. By 10K, there were seven women left in contention (31:18), and 11 men (28:12). Those intermediate marks would win most elite road races at those distances.

In the latter stages, the women’s race would come down to four: Kenyans Kabuu, Priscah Jeptoo, and Rita Jeptoo along with Ethiopia’s IAAF World Half Marathon Champion Meseret Hailu. Kabuu managed to open a small gap by 17K, and hit the 20K mark in 62:49, only 13 seconds slower than Mary Keitany’s world record at that distance. She was able to hold off her challengers to the finish.

The men’s contest came down to a three-way drag race between Kipsang, the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships junior winner, and fast marathoners Biwott and Mutai. Kipsang ran the fourth 5K segment in 13:58 and was able to hold the two-second lead he had at that point all the way to the finish, clocking 58:54. Biwott was timed in 58:56, Mutai 58:58, and Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa well back in fourth in a still very fast 59:25.

The top-10 finish spots in both races were taken by Kenyans and Ethiopians. Had 4-athlete cross country scoring been used, the Kenyan men’s and women’s teams would have both scored a scant 11 points, just one over a perfect 10, and would have won the team competition easily.

Top Results
MEN 
1    Geoffrey Kipsang (KEN)    58:54
2    Stanley Biwott (KEN)     58:56
3    Geoffrey Mutai (KEN)    58:58
4    Feyisa Lilesa (ETH)    59:25
5    Stephen Kibet (KEN)    59:59

WOMEN
1     Lucy Kabuu (KEN)     1:06:09
2    Priscah Jeptoo (KEN)    1:06:11
3    Rita Jeptoo (KEN)    1:06:27
4    Meseret Hailu (ETH)    1:06:56
5    Florence Kiplagat (KEN)    1:07:13