January 8, 2017
Pat Butcher has broken the news on GlobeRunner.org that the world’s greatest track runner, Kenenisa Bekele, will be running the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon in a little less than two weeks’ time on January 20th.
Bekele, the world record holder at 5,000m and 10,000m, resurrected his career by running 2:03:03 to win this past September’s BMW Berlin Marathon in an epic duel with Wilson Kipsang. The 2:03:03 was the second fastest time ever run on a record-eligible course in the marathon.
Dubai has the richest first place prize in the sport, $200,000, but the reason Bekele will be running Dubai is to chase the world record (2:02:57). Dubai is pancake flat without a lot of turns and is known for its fast times.
According to Butcher, Bekele told Dubai organizers in a statement, “It was fantastic for me to get a personal best (in Berlin), but I’m still disappointed to have missed out on the world record. But I could see that I still had to make a couple of changes in my training”.
Many expected Bekele to take on world #1 Eliud Kipchoge in London this April, but Kipchoge has opted to for the Nike sub-2-hour exhibition marathon this spring. If Bekele is doing Dubai he must know he is fit, and it makes sense for him to chase the world record in Dubai
rather than wait for London which has a slower course.
Update: The Virgin London Marathon has announced its 2017 field and Bekele is running. So he will attempt to run Dubai in January, London in April, and London Worlds in August.
— London Marathon (@LondonMarathon) January 9, 2017
Bekele did indicate in the statement that he plans to run in London
, not for the Virgin London Marathon, but at the 2017 World Championships in the marathon in August, if selected by the Ethiopian federation.
Prize Money in Dubai:
|MEN (USD)||WOMEN (USD)|
$100,000 World Record Bonus