- This will be Obiri’s second appearance at a Half Marathon
- She is looking to break her 64:51PB barrier
- Also set to compete is world record holder Brigid Kosgei
This will be Obiri’s third road race as she continues her plans to completely switch from the track and she says she is excited ahead of her debut.
On her half marathon debut last year, Obiri ran 64:51 and will be looking to lower that time in a star-studded field in the United Arab Emirates.
“I am of course very excited to be running my second half marathon. I was supposed to make my debut last year but unfortunately the race was cancelled due to COVID. But now all is confirmed and I am really excited to be competing,” Obiri told SportsLeo.
She added; “There will be very huge and talented athletes in the field including myself and definitely I will want to go in and show what I can do and prove my worth. I have not placed any targets in terms of positioning but definitely I want to go and run my personal best time. That for me will be a huge achievement.”
Obiri closed out her track career with her second silver medal at the Olympic Games last year, though she has not yet shut the door open for a possible last appearance with the World Championships this season.
But, she says she wants to enjoy as much success on the road as she did on the track where she is the only female athlete to have won a title across all surfaces. She is also the reigning World Cross Country Champion.
“Age is catching up and there are faster and more talented girls. It is only good for me to pave way for them and let Kenya have others who will step in to the plate in my absence,” she noted.
The RAK Half Marathon, one of the highest paying events in road running with a prize purse of Sh37.8mn.
Also set to compete at the RAK Half Marathon is current Marathon World Record Holder, Brigid Kosgei. Kosgei is looking to bounce back to winning ways after finishing second in the Olympic Games.
She returns to the event after finishing second in 2020.
Also joining the Kenyan cast is Sheila Chepkirui who has a personal best of 64:54 and will be looking to build on her third-place finishes in the Valencia and Bahrain half marathons last year.
Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh also features in the women’s race.
Yeshaneh broke the world record the last time the race was held, clocking 64:31 to finish clear ahead of marathon world record-holder Kosgei, who was also inside the previous women’s mixed-race record. Since then, the mark has been taken to 1:02:52 by Letesenbet Gidey in Valencia.
Meanwhile in the men’s race, Kenya’s 2021 Valencia Half Marathon winner Abel Kipchumba forms part of the field as well as Alexander Mutiso, who finished second in the race in 2020 and has a PB of 57:59.
Also featuring are Kenya’s Philemon Kiplimo, Daniel Kibet, Kennedy Kimutai, Kelvin Kiptum, Mathew Kimeli and Rodgers Kwemoi, plus Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura, Dawit Wolde and Asefa Mengstu.
The show stopping race will once again return to the stunning Marjan Island, set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, treating all athletes to pristine views of the nature-based Emirate’s white sandy beaches and shimmering coastline.
Notorious for a fast, flat course, the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon’s refined route will kick off on Marjan Island Boulevard, right opposite the Double Tree by Hilton and the vibrant Race Village. The race will then take runners on a beautiful course through the island, passing all major hotel destinations as they head along Sheikh Mohammed bin Salem Road, circle through Al Amwaj Avenue, before heading back to the starting point to cross the finish line.