The Best and Richest ($100k FTW) Half Marathon You’ve Never Heard of Is Happening on Friday in Bahrain

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March 14, 2019

Update: Live Race Thread Here

What if we told you the most competitive half marathon in the world this weekend was not the one taking place in New York featuring the women’s world record holder, the Boston Marathon champion, and the debut of Paul Chelimo?

No, it’s not the United Airlines NYC Half, but the inaugural Bahrain Night Half Marathon, which will be held on Friday. With first-place prize money that dwarfs NYC ($100,000 for the win, compared to $20,000 in New York), the fields are comically loaded.

Prize money:

Abraham Kiptum after breaking the HM WR in Valencia in October

According to the start list shared by Alberto Stretti (we don’t know of any withdrawals as of yet), the race features five of the 16 fastest men in history, led by world record holder Abraham Kiptum of Kenya (58:18 pb). All five have run 58:51 or faster, with three of them — Kiptum, Ethiopian record holer Jemal Yimer (58:33), and Ethiopia’s Abadi Hadis (58:44) — running their PR within the last five months.

Plus there are seven more men who have broke 60:00, for a total of 12 in all, and that doesn’t include Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla, who ran the fastest debut marathon in history (2:03:34) to win Dubai less than two months ago.

The women’s field, with four women under 66:00 and another three under 67:00, is just as good. Caroline Kipkirui is the fastest entrant at 65:07, but the field also contains the World Half Marathon champion, Netsanet Gudeta (65:45), Senbere Teferi (who beat Gudeta to win the RAK Half last month, also in 65:45), Chicago Marathon/Houston Half champ Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, and Ruth Chepngetich, who just became the third-fastest female marathoner in history by running 2:17:08 in Dubai in January.

The race will start at 8 p.m. local time on Friday, which is 1 p.m. ET in the USA.

You should be able to watch a live stream of the race here (then click on sports) or by downloading the Bahrain TV app here.

Top men’s entries

Abraham KiptumKenya58:18
Jemal YimerEthiopia58:33
Abadi HadisEthiopia58:44
Atsedu TsegayEthiopia58:47
Alex KorioKenya58:51
Fikadu HaftuEthiopia59:08
Bernard NgenoKenya59:22
Morris GachagaKenya59:22
Amedework WalelegnEthiopia59:22
El Hassan El AbbassiBahrain59:27
Vincent RonoKenya59:27
Shadrack KiminingKenya59:42
Teshome MekonenEthiopia60:02
Hassan ChaniBahrain60:23
John LangatKenya60:24
Getaneh MollaEthiopia60:34
Birhan NebebewEthiopia60:53
Daniel RotichUganda60:59
Abayneh DeguEthiopia61:01
Dawit FikaduBahrain61:44
Alemu BekeleBahrain61:46
Nelson KipkosgeiBahrain62:22
Stephen MwendwaKenya62:55

Top women’s entries

Caroline KipkiruiKenya65:07
Senbere TeferiEthiopia65:45
Netsanet GudetaEthiopia65:45
Brigid KosgeiKenya65:50
Eunice ChumbaBahrain66:11
Ruth ChepngetichKenya66:19
Pauline KamuluKenya66:56
Meseret BeleteEthiopia67:51
Sutume Asefa KebedeEthiopia67:54
Yeshi KalayuEthiopia67:58
Shitaye EsheteBahrain68:25
Hiwot AyalewEthiopia71:01
Gladys KibiwotBahrain76:10