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

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?

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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

Name Country PB
Abraham Kiptum Kenya 58:18
Jemal Yimer Ethiopia 58:33
Abadi Hadis Ethiopia 58:44
Atsedu Tsegay Ethiopia 58:47
Alex Korio Kenya 58:51
Fikadu Haftu Ethiopia 59:08
Bernard Ngeno Kenya 59:22
Morris Gachaga Kenya 59:22
Amedework Walelegn Ethiopia 59:22
El Hassan El Abbassi Bahrain 59:27
Vincent Rono Kenya 59:27
Shadrack Kimining Kenya 59:42
Teshome Mekonen Ethiopia 60:02
Hassan Chani Bahrain 60:23
John Langat Kenya 60:24
Getaneh Molla Ethiopia 60:34
Birhan Nebebew Ethiopia 60:53
Daniel Rotich Uganda 60:59
Abayneh Degu Ethiopia 61:01
Dawit Fikadu Bahrain 61:44
Alemu Bekele Bahrain 61:46
Nelson Kipkosgei Bahrain 62:22
Stephen Mwendwa Kenya 62:55

Top women’s entries

Name Country PB
Caroline Kipkirui Kenya 65:07
Senbere Teferi Ethiopia 65:45
Netsanet Gudeta Ethiopia 65:45
Brigid Kosgei Kenya 65:50
Eunice Chumba Bahrain 66:11
Ruth Chepngetich Kenya 66:19
Pauline Kamulu Kenya 66:56
Meseret Belete Ethiopia 67:51
Sutume Asefa Kebede Ethiopia 67:54
Yeshi Kalayu Ethiopia 67:58
Shitaye Eshete Bahrain 68:25
Hiwot Ayalew Ethiopia 71:01
Gladys Kibiwot Bahrain 76:10