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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Abu Dhabi Marathon offers runners chance of a 'very fast time'

Former world record holder Paul Tergat confident route for December 7 event offers up opportunity for rapid times to be achieved

Paul Tergat, left, talks during the unveiling of the course for the inaugural Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon. Victor Besa / The National
Paul Tergat, left, talks during the unveiling of the course for the inaugural Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon. Victor Besa / The National

The first Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon in December has been backed to give athletes a chance to achieve "a very fast time".

Kenyan Paul Tergat, who held the world record for the distance between 2003 and 2007 is confident that the route for the Abu Dhabi event, which takes place on December 7, offers up an opportunity for some very rapid times to be achieved.

Tergat was part of the technical committee to plan the route of the race and he said on Wednesday: “It’s a spectacular flat course and taking into consideration the cool December weather in this part of the world, I expect the runners to achieve a very fast time.

“This is one of the best marathon routes I have seen. All what we need now is to draw the crowds in thousands and fill the roads to make it a spectacular first race in Abu Dhabi.”

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The course is based around the Corniche in the UAE's capital. There is a prize fund of $US379,000 (Dh1.3 million) in total that will be spread across the race categories, with $100,000 each going to the respective winners of the men's and women's races.

There will be three other races held on the day over the distances of 10km, 5km and 2.5km.

Tergat added: “Designing the route was an interesting yet challenging task. We wanted participants to run by the capital city’s greatest landmarks and enjoy the scenery in an interesting way.

“The route is a mixture of city’s modern and some of the oldest and most-respected landmarks.”

The race will begin by the Adnoc complex on the Corniche, with the runners heading the runners towards the Emirates Heritage Village, before they then make their way around Marina Mall, along King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud street, and on to Qasr Al Hosn.

The final stretch of the race runs through Mina Zayed, before returning to the Adnoc complex for the finish.

More than 30 elite runners have confirmed so far, including Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia and Kenyan Abraham Kiptum of Kenya.

Andrea Trabuio, the race director, is confident that more will confirm after the announcement of the prize money, with entries still open until one week before the marathon.

“The prize money of $100,000 each for both the men and women marathon is very attractive. We expect more elite runners to enter the 10km race as well,” he said.

Aref Al Awani, secretary general of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said while they launched another world class event in the capital city, the vision of it was to promote health and wellness to the local people.

“For the elite and serious runners arriving from overseas, this marathon offers a great opportunity to tour Abu Dhabi and see its amazing places.”