By David Monti
February 24, 2009
(c) 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
Last Friday's RAK Half-Marathon in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab
Emirates produced more than just world-leading times, national records
and personal bests for the standard 21.097 km half-marathon distance.
By the end of the year, it may also stand as the world's best 10-K on
the road, at least for men.
According to a timing report specially prepared for Race Results Weekly
by the event organizers, eight men broke 28 minutes at the 10-K mark of
the race, half of the 16 athletes who were clocked at under 29 minutes
at that point. That's nearly double the number of sub-28's reported in
the fastest results of any 10-K road race held in the world last year.
The greatest number of sub-28's recorded at the finish line in 2008
was four at the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans.
Moreover, had the men simply stopped running at 10-K, their times would
have occupied six of the top-ten 10-K finish times at all road races
combined in the world last year. The first five men at that point
--Patrick Makau, Wilson Kiprotich, Deribe Merga, Wilson Chebet, and
Matthew Koech-- were all clocked at 27:42. That would have tied them
for the fifth-fastest 10-K in the world last year as timed on the
Here are the top-10 10-K times from the RAK Half-Marathon:
1. Patrick Makau KEN 27:42
2. Wilson Kiprotich KEN 27:42
3. Deriba Merga ETH 27:42
4. Wilson Chebet KEN 27:42
5. Matthew Koech KEN 27:42
6. Joseph Maregu KEN 27:43
7. Charles Munyeki KEN 27:45
8. Abel Kirui KEN 27:59
9. Tujuba Megersa ETH 28:14
10. David Mandago KEN 28:14
Statisticians disagree on the validity en route times. The IAAF
accepts en route times for all-time lists and record consideration if
the same standards for record-setting are met at the intermediate
points as would be required on the finish line. Most national
federations are in agreement with this position. However, the
indepenent Association of Road Race Statisticians does not consider en
route times for either all-time lists or records, citing too great a
variability in intermediate point timing and course measurement.
It will be interesting to compare the 10-K results from the RAK half
with next Sunday's World's Best 10-K in San Juan, Puerto Rico, widely
regarded as the strongest winter 10-K road race in the world.