World's Most Competitive Race Announces Line Up for 2010

The RAK Half Marathon welcomes the world's best runners once again
Press Release Published: Wed 10 Feb, 2010

LRC Editor's Recap: 2009 RAK champion Patrick Makau will not run this year but 10 8 sub-60 guys will line up. Tilahun Regassa won $300,000 in the Zayed Half Marathon in January while Deribe Merga dropped out of the race for unknown reasons. They will face each other again on the course where Merga tied the world record for 15km last year en route to a 2nd-place finish to Makau. The top Ethiopians will be joined by strong Kenyans including Geoffrey Mutai.

One thing is for sure, the prize money will be far less than Zayed. The winner gets $20,000 and the total open purse for each sex is only $54,000 compared to $1,000,000 from Sheikh Zayed.
*2009 Results Here
*2009 LRC Zayed Photos Here
*Prize Money

Start Press Release:

After two world records in February last year, the 2010 edition of the RAK Half Marathon, taking place on Friday 19th February, has a hard act to follow. According to, the comprehensive athletics database that compiles statistics and records of athletics worldwide, the RAK Half Marathon was recorded as being the ‘top road running competition in the world' for 2009, along with being the top road running competition for men and 3rd for women.  Based on results and participants, the RAK Half was also the Number 1 road running competition in Asia (2009) proof that in a mere 3 years, this race has become world class and that there is every chance of more record-setting around the streets of this emerging UAE emirate.

Patrick Makau's winning time of 58:52 last year, remained the quickest in the world for 2009, and significantly it was a genuine race to the tape that forced the then 23 year old to the new course record which remains the second fastest time in history.

After leading through 15km in a world record equalling 41:29 last year but eventually finishing third, it is Ethiopian front-running sensation Deriba Merga who returns to top a field of staggering depth and quality, while Makau sits this one out and awaits a return to form.

Dogging Merga's almost certain front-running approach this year, will be recent winner of the Zayed Half Marathon, compatriot Tilahun Regassa. Such is the precocious talent of this 20 year old, that Merga will have to exercise much better pace judgement this time around to stay ahead in RAK. Team mate Lelisa Desisa, who debuted with a 59:59 in Abu Dhabi, will be feeling more confident after then leaving in his wake a lot of his fellow starters lined up for RAK.

The predictable Kenyan challenge (they have won each edition of this race so far), of the men's race in RAK will be led by Marathon specialist Geoffrey Mutai who surprised last year's runner up Wilson Kipsang in Valencia last autumn beating him in a race record of 59:30. Mutai will be joined by John Kiprotich (59:23) and Jairus Chanchima (59:44) to make it an interesting battle for East African pride in this IAAF Silver Label race.

Former World Half Marathon Champion Fabiano Joseph is the sole Tanzanian this time round and he will lead the rest of the challengers in a field that has no less than ten eight sub 60 performers! Who knows, if the weather is kind and the wind stays away again, this rocket fast race may add another record to its already impressive collection.




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