Athletes compete in the Dubai Marathon in Dubai Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: The legendary marathon runner Paul Radcliffe hailed the performance of the runners in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon and stated that this year’s result will attract more runners to come to Dubai and participate next year.

“Dubai is the place to come if you want to make that breakthrough and establish yourself on the road running or marathon scene,” said Radcliffe, who holds the women’s marathon record for over 15 years.

Talking about the quality of the race, Radcliffe said: “I felt both the races were very impressive and very fast and Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is now known for a very fast course. People come here in shape to race, and we saw two contrasting styles today. Men were quick but more controlled, making it very fast. Women’s acceleration in the last ten kilometres was excellent. I think the men’s race was a bit of a cat and mouse run and hence they reaching the line was very exciting.”

To a query as to what could be the reason that the world record did not get shattered despite the course record being broken, Radcliffe said: “It did not happen because they all were slightly too fast in the first half and also because there were so many running together. If there was only one guy, he on his own, would have pushed a little bit harder to try and get closer to the world record. As they were running together they started to watch each other to make sure they finish first than race for the time.”

Is the presence of many short distance runners responsible for the good timing in the Dubai Marathon? It has become a trend now for runners to move up from the 10,000 to the half marathon and then to the marathon. For a while there were guys coming straight into the marathon and now it is from 5,000m to 10,000m and move up to race in the marathon and then go back and still race well on the track.”

Radcliffe feels that the Tamirat Tola may have lost the Dubai Marathon title as he collided with a fellow runner. “Tola going for the water and colliding in the 35km mark might have resulted in him losing the title. He was impeded and stumbled and lost his momentum and probably it shook him a little bit mentally. It was not intentional but it did not help his race.”

Radcliffe also hailed the day’s weather saying: “The humidity may have been a little bit high in the beginning but it was very cool and conditions were good. There was no wind, though previous days here it was very windy. So they were fortunate today and it was a perfect weather for a marathon.”