Dubai: International athletes will be chasing record prize money as well as record times when they face a new-look Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 12.

The region's richest athletics event offers a fund of over $150,000 in prize-money to the competitors in the blue riband chase over the classic 26 miles, 385 yard distance with the winners of both the men and women's event both chasing winner's cheques of $30,000.

"The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is one of the premier sporting occasions on the calendar attracting a wealth of elite long-distance athletes from across the globe," said event organiser Peter Connerton.

"It offers excellent running conditions, superb facilities and top prize money."

Connerton was speaking at the unveiling of the new-look route that will take Marathon competitors on a new journey after seven years of its established route through Bur Dubai and Deira. The new race maps - now available from the event's official website - show how the runners will leave from the shade of the Emirates Towers before embarking on a route that will take them along the Jumeirah Beach Road.

Once the runners are past the Chelsea and Capitol hotels, they turn toward the coast and then race along the Beach Road past Ittihad House and its giant UAE flag, Palm Strip, Jumeirah Beach Park and the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club before turning for home at the Burj Al Arab. On the way back, spectators will be able to see the athletes as they pound the road past the Mercato Mall, Dubai Zoo and Jumeirah Mosque.

"The new route is flatter than the previous one and has the potential for some excellent times," said Niall McLoughlin, Regional Head of Corporate Affairs for Middle East and Pakistan, Standard Chartered.

"It also offers spectators a chance to cheer on the runners as they head down towards the Burj Al Arab, or after they have made the turn and are heading back towards the finish at the Emirates Towers."

Held under the patronage of Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Marathon and associated 10km and 3km runs will see all the runners set off and finish beside the Emirates Towers.

Runners looking to register for the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon should visit Go Sports at Ibn Battuta, Mall of the Emirates or Mirdif, any branch of Standard Chartered or visit