2015 RAK Half Marathon Recap: Marvelous Mary Keitany And Remember The Drone

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Women’s Runner-Up Mamitu Daska Sets New Ethiopian Record of 1:06:27

by LetsRun.com
February 2, 2015

Mary Keitany of Kenya started out 2015 just as she ended 2014 – in impressive fashion – as she ran 1:06:03, the third fastest half marathon ever on a record-eligible course, to win the 2015 Ras al-Khaimah Half Marathon over Ethiopian Mamitu Daska (2014 BAA Half Marathon Champ) who had a massive 1:49 PR to finish second in 1:06:27, a new Ethiopian national record (breaking Meseret Hailu‘s record set at this race in 2013 of 1:06:56).

Keitany returned to pro racing in 2014 after giving birth and she has not lost since coming back, picking up wins in Ottawa at 10k (31:22), at the Bupa Great North at 13.1 (65:39), and in New York City at 26.2 (2:25:07) before today.

On the men’s side, it came down to a five way sprint the final straight between Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia and four Kenyans. Geremew got the win in 1:00:05.

Mary Keitany Wins 2015 RAK Half Marathon

Mary Keitany Wins 2015 RAK Half Marathon

Flash Women’s Race Recap: Early WR Pace Proves Too Much (live thread here)

After a 15:43 opening 5k, the rabbits picked it up (the main pacer was Mary Keitany’s husband) and hit 10k in 31:07 which was one second faster than the 31:08 Florence Kiplagat split during her world record run (65:12) in Barcelona last year. Kiplagat had negative split her record run  so the women could not let their feet off the gas.

At 10k four women were still in contention, Keitan, Daska, and Cynthia Limo and Josephine Chepkoech of Kenya. By 15k (46:41), Limo and Chepkoech were nearly 30 seconds back as the quick opening pace was taking its toll.   Over the next 5k, Keitany would pull away from Daska and reach 20k in 62:35, but the 15:54 5k from 15k-20k was the slowest of the day and the world record was definitely out the window. The course record set by Keitany in 2011 (65:50) would go out the window as well, but Keitany was rewarded with the win and 50,000 AED ($13,612).

Daska Battled and Got the Ethiopian Record

Daska Battled and Got the Ethiopian Record

It should be pointed out that Daska’s new Ethiopian record of 66:27 isn’t the fastest half-marathon ever run by an Ethiopian. At the 2013 Bupa Great North Run, which featured Keitany, Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret DefarDefar ran 66:09 but the course is point to point and net downhill.

Results at bottom of article.

Mosinet Geremew Won the 5 Way Sprint

Mosinet Geremew Won the 5 Way Sprint

Flash Men’s Race: A Five-Way Sprint for the Title

An opening 5k of 14:32 (roughly 61:00 pace) meant that any shot of a super fast time was gone. The men would gradually ratchet down the pace (10k 28:54 (14:11) , 15k 43:11 (14:17), 20k 57:11 (14:00). Nine guys were still together at 15k, but the 14:00 next 5k meant there were only 5 left for the final one kilometer to the finish.

The big casualty had been Eliud Kipchoge, who is preparing for April’s London Marathon, and would end up sixth.

The five men contending for the title were Kenyans Mike Kigen, Daniel Wanjiru, Edward Kiptoo, Jonathan Maiyo, and Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew. Maiyo (59:02 pb) and Geremew (59:11 pb) were the fastest half-marathoners on paper but that means very little in a quarter mile sprint with four others for the title.

In the end Geremew, Wanjiru, and Maiyo were the strongest but there was no doubt Geremew was the best today as he got the win over Wanjiru and Maiyo. 4th-placer Edwin Kiptoo was the only guy with a big breakthrough here as he lowered his pr from 61:12 to 60:10.

Men's and women's winners with RAK dignitaries

Men’s and women’s winners with RAK dignitaries

Quick Thought on Women’s Race: Mary Keitany Is Tremendous at the Half Marathon

Mary Keitany has run some great marathons but she excels at the half. Her run today was once again evidence of that. There was almost disappointment that Keitany could not stay on world record pace, but Kiplagat’s run in Barcelona last year took the record to a different stratosphere. Keitany’s run was 54 seconds off the world record, but no other women than Kiplagat has run faster on a record-eligible course than Keitany did today. Keitany ran 65:50 here four years ago to set the previous world record. An impressive run and another win for Keitany who is just as good as she was before childbirth.

Daska ran very well in second. Not only was it a 1:39 pr and an Ethiopian national record, she gave Keitany a battle for most of the race. And Keitany is often not used to having to battle when she runs 66:02. 5 years ago another half in the UAE, the Zayed Half Marathon, gave $300,000 to the winners. Keitany won in 67:14. Second place was over 2 minutes behind. Today Daska was only 25 seconds back.

Quick Thought on Men’s Race: Remember the Drone

The RAK half is regarded as historically the fastest half marathon in the world. They men came nowhere near any record today with the modest early pace. The fact it came down to a sprint between a bunch of 59-61 guys is not surprising or worth a lot of comment. It was, however, a fun finish to watch.

Even better than the finish was some of the visuals. Early on during the live broadcast, there often was not sound as they worked out a glitch with the audio. Viewers were left with nothing but video – but boy was much of it stunning. Letsrun message boarders realized the visuals were from a drone filming the race. The drone was  able to show some really cool shots. It could be head on, and then real quickly slide to the side and let the runners go by.

We’ll try and find out more about the drone but until then there is this thread: The Future Is Here: Drone Used to Film the Best Live Video from RAK Half Marathon. Results below

More Photos Coming. A Photo of the Drone

More Photos Coming. A Photo of the Drone

For a live blow by blow of the race: RAK Half live Thread

Women’s Results

Rank Bib Name Nationality Club Finish Diff.
1. 52 Mary Keitany KEN 1:06:02
2. 58 Mamitu Daska ETH 1:06:27 0:26
3. 59 Cynthia Limo KEN 1:07:02 1:00
4. 61 Josephine Chepkoech KEN 1:07:32 1:30
5. 56 Worknesh Degefa ETH 1:10:44 4:43
6. 53 Meseret Hailu ETH 1:10:57 4:56
7. 55 Philes Ongori KEN 1:12:14 6:13
8. 175 Belainesh Yami ETH 1:17:20 11:19
9. 141 Anne-Mari Hyrylainen FIN Dubai Creek Striders 1:17:46 11:45
10. 183 Meskerem Hunde ETH 1:22:42 16:40
11. 158 Alice Wilson NZL 1:25:38 19:36
12. 2899 Gerda Steyn RSA Dubai Road Runners 1:26:55 20:53
13. 180 Martha Rise NOR 1:27:07 21:06
14. 142 Beate Krecklow GER 1:27:19 21:18
15. 113 Debbie Powell GBR ABRaS AC 1:27:30 21:29
16. 134 Christina Kersey NZL 1:27:51 21:49
17. 156 Katy Hallside GBR Dubai Road Runners 1:27:56 21:54
18. 123 Aline Raywood FRA ABRaS AC 1:27:57 21:56
19. 2073 Rosalie Uphill GBR Wellness Running Saudi Arabia 1:28:54 22:53
20. 406 Rebecca Forest GBR 1:29:44 23:42

Men’s Results

Rank Bib Name Nationality Club Finish Diff.
1. 5 Mosinet Geremew ETH 1:00:05
2. 10 Daniel Wanjiru KEN 1:00:06 0:01
3. 3 Jonathan Maiyo KEN 1:00:07 0:03
4. 12 Edwin Kiptoo KEN 1:00:10 0:05
5. 9 Mike Kigen KEN 1:00:14 0:09
6. 2 Eliud Kipchoge KEN 1:00:50 0:45
7. 14 Tsegaye Mekonnen ETH 1:01:05 1:00
8. 11 Abera Kuma ETH 1:01:07 1:02
9. 19 Demessew Tsega ETH 1:01:36 1:31
10. 8 Peter Kirui KEN 1:03:31 3:27
11. 184 Regasa Bejiga ETH 1:05:48 5:43
12. 20 Charles Koech KEN 1:05:59 5:54
13. 3020 Ihya Ben Youssef MAR 1:06:06 6:01
14. 133 Ismail Ssenyange UGA Dubai Creek Striders 1:07:51 7:46
15. 2938 Brahim Slimani MAR 1:07:58 7:53
16. 3171 Abdelali Bouazzaoui MAR 1:08:31 8:26
17. 2976 Micheal Ssali UGA Dubai Creek Striders 1:12:10 12:05
18. 2814 Saif Al Rashedi UAE 1:12:21 12:16
19. 172 Paul Muturi KEN 1:12:35 12:31
20. 487 Zouak Ziani Mohamed ESP 1:12:42 12:37
21. 2939 Lhaj Abdelkrim Moussaoui MAR 1:13:21 13:17
22. 1681 Andrea Aragno ITA 1:13:52 13:47
23. 3116 Moath Alkhawaldeh JOR 1:14:17 14:13
24. 2749 Mobarak Rihane MAR 1:15:31 15:27
25. 124 Abdeslam Naji NOR 1:16:53 16:48
26. 2872 Godfrey Seteba UGA 1:17:13 17:08
27. 139 Daniel Webber GBR 1:17:50 17:45
28. 148 Michal Francke CZE 1:18:52 18:48
29. 2758 Jean Claude Haramboure FRA Abu Dhabi Striders 1:19:33 19:28
30. 159 David Patton GBR 1:19:35 19:30
Daska hung with Keitany past half way

Daska hung with Keitany past half way

Men's and women's winners with RAK dignitaries

Men’s and women’s winners with RAK dignitaries

*Full results will be here *IAAF Recap


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