Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 May 2019

Thousands turn out for 2019 Dubai Marathon

The race began at 6am and ended just over two hours later with some record-breaking runs

A runner takes apart in the 2019 Dubai Marathon on Friday. Chris Whiteoak / The National
A runner takes apart in the 2019 Dubai Marathon on Friday. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Tens of thousands of people woke up at the crack of dawn on Friday, slipped on their running shoes and headed off to Umm Suqeim Road to run like they were being chased for a couple of hours straight.

With the 42-kilometre race now over, the 20th Dubai Marathon began at 6am, for wheelchair and elite athletes, and 7am for the masses. Temperatures were cool and humid but a two to three-hour run kept racers warm.

Participants from around the globe have spent months training for the race, which also includes 10km and 4km route options.

Crowds of hundreds of people also turned up to support the runners, some handing out samples of fruit and chocolate to keep participants fuelled.

The course is almost completely flat, making it one of the world's quickest marathons and therefore a likely setting for world records to be broken, as they were by Getaneh Tamire Molla, in the men's race, and Kenyan Chepngetich, in the women's race, on Friday.

Motorists were warned in advance of the race that roads along Al Sufouh and Jumeirah Beach Road would be closed from Thursday night to 1pm on Friday.

Jumeirah Beach Road is closed between Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Park.

Motorists can expect a number of diversions and heavy traffic in that area, though Al Wasl Road remains open.

Updated: January 25, 2019 12:14 PM

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