One of the World’s Richest Marathons Is Taking Place Tonight at 9 pm ET – Get The Inside Scoop On The Inaugural Abu Dhabi Marathon Here

December 6, 2018

The inaugural ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is tonight (tomorrow in Abu Dhabi). You can watch it live starting at 9 p.m. ET. Streaming details will show up here.

We’re excited about the race as while we don’t know everything about it, we do know that Abraham Kiptum — the 29-year-old Kenyan who recently set the half marathon world record by running 58:18 in Valencia on October 28 — is in the field. And he’s got a lot of reasons – at least 100,000 of them (The first place prize is $100,000) and maybe 200,000 of them (we’ve read he’ll get a $100,000 bonus if he wins in under 2:04:00) to run well.

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World’s Richest 1st Place Checks
Dubai – $200,000
Boston – $150,000
Abu Dhabi, Chicago, New York – $100,000
Tokyo – $97,614 (JPY 11,000,000)
London – $55,000
Berlin – $45,493 (€ 40,000)
Boston – $150,000

The Abu Dhabi race organizers have only officially released a press release that mentioned an elite field of four men and five women. However, messageboard poster “Mzungu in Itenposted a longer list for the men’s field. We believe the post from is accurate as one of the men he mentioned as being a competitor, 2:03:13 man Emmanuel Mutai, shows up in the pre-race press conference photos. However, “Mzungu in Iten” didn’t list the extra runners in the women’s field.

So here is who we believe is running in the race. We present them in order of most likely to win to least likely to win.


Abraham Kiptum – KEN – 29-year-old ran world record in half in Valencia on October 28 (58:18). Won Daegu on April 1 in 2:06:29. Marathon pb is 2:05:26 from Amsterdam last year, where he was 3rd.
Abera Kuma – ETH – Ran 2:05:50 pb for 2nd in Rotterdam in April. 28-year-old was 5th in 5,000 at 2011 Worlds and 5th in 10,000 at 2013 Worlds.
Stanley Biwott – KEN – 2015 NYC champ hasn’t finished a marathon since 2016 London, when he ran his 2:03:51 pb. Did run 61:46 on October 14.
Marius Kipserem – KEN – Ran 2:06:11 pb to win Rotterdam in 2016. Ran 2:07:22 in Rotterdam this year. 30-year-old has 15 marathon finishes on his CV.
Emmanuel Mutai* – KEN – 34-year-old ran 2:03:13 in Berlin in 2014 but hasn’t broken 2:10 since a 2:07:46 in Berlin in 2015. Ran 2:11:57 for 9th in Hamburg in April.
Dejene Debela*- ETH – 23-year-old has run three marathons this year, winning two, but fastest was 2:11:22. Has 2:07:10 pb from 2017 Eindhoven.
Dino Sefir* – ETH – 30-year-old ran 2:04:50 for 2nd in Dubai in 2012. Hasn’t broken 2:08 since. No results this year.
Thomas Kiplagat* – KEN – 2:07:52 pb dates to 2014. Ran 2:08:55 for 8th in Paris this year.
Birhanu Addisie* – 23-year-old has 10 marathon results on Tilastopaja but only a 2:09:27 pb.
Beshah Yesiie* – ETH – We have no idea who this is.
Weldemicael Kibrom* – ERI – Not sure who this either, but a Mouisse Weldemicael shows up on Tilastopaja with a 2:17:01 pb from Dubai in 2015.


Gelete Burka – ETH – 32-year-old former world indoor 1500 champ has excelled at marathon this year, running 2:20:45 for 6th in Dubai and then 2:21:17 for 1st in Ottawa in January and May.
Yeshaneh Ababel – ETH – Marathon pb is only 2:33:10 but that’s from 2013. Since then, the 28-year-old has run 14:41 for 5000, 30:35 for 10,000, and this year she ran an Ethiopian national record of 65:46 for the half in Copenhagen on September 16. On October 21, she ran 67:49 for 5th at Delhi Half. First marathon since April 2013.
Eunice Chumba – BRN – 25-year-old was 4th at World Half in March and 2nd in Beijing Marathon in 2:26:56 in September. 2:24:47 marathon pb from 2017 Rotterdam.
Helen Bekele – ETH – 24-year-old lowered her pb to 2:22:48 to place sixth in Berlin on September 16. Won Barcelona last year in 2:25:04.
Merima Mohammed – BRN – Has 20 marathon starts listed on Tilastopaja. Her pb of 2:23:06 dates to 2010. 2:27:41 for 7th in Nagoya this year.

*= not listed by race organizers, but we believe they are running based on this messageboard post and the fact that Emmanuel Mutai shows up in pre-race photos.

Mzungu in Iten” writes that the race has four pacers — Emmanuel Saina (we’re guessing that’s the same Emmanuel Saina who came out of nowhere to win the Buenos Aires Marathon in 2:05:21 in September), Stephen Mokoka, Daniel Ndiritu, and Elisha Rotich — and that the “Plan is to pass halfway in 62:00. Mokoka and Saina will try reach 30k at 2:04 pace. Kiptum’s going for a 2:03 high or so.”

Kiptum may want to run 2:03 and if he does, it will be a hell of a feat as the weather isn’t goint to be ideal.

Accuweather says we can expect at a temperature of 67 F (19.4C) when the race starts at 6 am locall (9 pm ET) and 70 F (21.1 C) two hours later when the top men will be nearing the finish. The dewpoint is projected to be 61 F(16.1 C) at 6 am and 59 (15 C) at 8 am. Both of those figures – the temperature and dewpoint – are much higher than ideal. For comparison’s sake, during Kipchoge’s WR, both the temperature and dewpoint were roughly 10 degrees lower. Kipchoge ran 2:01:38 in Berlin in a race that feature temps in the high 50s at the start and low 60s at the finish and the dew point was 50 F (10 C) midway through Kipchoge’s WR. Ideally, you really want a dewpoint that is below 55 (12.8) as explained here.

LRC Predictions: Well as you can see above, we think Kiptum and Burka get the lucrative wins. Who do you think will win? Tell us and find the streaming links in our official discussion thread on our world famous fan forum / messageboard. MB: Official 1st Ever Abu Dhabi Marathon Discussion Thread – Abraham Kiptum goes for some BIG BUCKS!

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