Mary Keitany & 17-Year Old Dennis Koech Win 2012 RAK Half-Marathon
Below you will find top 20 results from the 2012 RAK Half marathon which took place Friday morning in the United Arab Emirates (Thursday at 10 PM ET in the US) under windy conditions.
Kenya's Mary Keitany, who set a world record in this race last year of 65:50 (although two other women have run faster on non-record eligible courses), went after her record for the first 10km (31:09 which is 65:43 10km pace) but ended up settling for a dominant win as 2nd place was some 2:24 behind as she ran 66:42. The 66:42 still is #8 all-time for the half-marathon.
The 7 faster halves ever run by women are as follows:
1 65:40a Paula Radcliffe GBR 17.12.73 1 Newcastle-South Shields 21.09.2003 2 65:44a Susan Chepkemei KEN 25.06.75 1 Lisboa 01.04.2001 3 65:50 Mary Keitany KEN 18.01.82 1 Ra's Al Khaymah 18.02.2011 4 66:25 Lornah Kiplagat NED 01.05.74 1 Udine 14.10.2007 5 66:34a Lornah Kiplagat KEN 20.03.74 2 Lisboa 01.04.2001 6 66:36 Mary Keitany KEN 18.01.82 1 Birmingham 11.10.2009 7 66:40@ Ingrid Kristiansen NOR 21.03.56 1 Sandnes 05.04.1987
In the men's race, 17-year old Dennis Koech of Kenya who came in with a 61:30 half-marathon pr left with a win and a new pr of 60:34 (Editor's note: The IAAF is reporting that Koech is 18 but during the race telecast he was described as being 17). Koech, who is the training partner of the world's best marathoner Geofrrey Mutai and who was 9th in last year's junior xc championships in Kenya, was way out in front by the 40 minute mark and was able to hold off Ethiopia's Azmeraw Bekele, who has a 59:39 half-marathon pb, by 8 seconds. If you are wondering if this time is a new world junior best, the answer is, "Not even close." Sammy Wanjiru ran 59:16 at age 18 back in 2005.
Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich, who ran 2:03:42 in Berlin last fall, ended up third in 60:55. 2012 Houston-Half Marathon winner Feyisa Lelisa, who came into the race with the world's #1 time for 2012 thanks to his 59:22 at Houston, ended up 5th in 61:44 after taking the lead at the 10km mark and pushing the pace for a few minutes.
Note, when looking at the times below, you might want to subtract 6-8 seconds as the race featured a hilarious/delayed start. For some reason, there was no gun or horn to start the race - just simply an announcer counting down. But the runners were waiting for a gun or horn, so everyone just stood at the start line and didn't start running until 6 or 7 seconds into the race.