Half-marathon - Kiplimo
Jacob Kiplimo is all smiles after lowering the course record to win the RAK Half Marathon on Saturday. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Ras Al Khaimah: Jacob Kiplimo and Girmawit Gebrzihair enthralled the spectators of the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon when they set new course records to win the men and women’s titles, respectively, in the 15th edition of the event on Saturday.

The race saw fierce competition with 45 elite athletes vying for top spot and over 4000 runners going head-to-head across four categories including the half marathon, relay teams of two, five km and one mile races respectively.

Storming ahead in the men’s category to claim the prestigious top prize, with an incredible time of 57:56, was 21-year-old world record half marathon holder Jacob Kiplimo. Uganda’s Olympic bronze medallist took home the gold while he was followed by Rodgers Kwemoi in second place (58:30) and third place was awarded to Kenneth Kiprop Renju, who clocked up a time of 58:35.

The women’s race saw fierce competition from start to finish with Gebrzihair being crowned the winner of the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, with a time of 01:04:14. Kenyan Olympian Hellen Obiri took second place, crossing the finish line with a time of 01:04:22, while Sheila Chepkirui clocked a time of 01:04:36 to finish third.

Kiplimo said later: ‘‘I trained very hard ahead of this race, so I am extremely proud with my result this morning. The weather conditions made for a fantastic and very competitive race but I managed to set my pace from the outset, making good speed. It was an unforgettable experience.’’

Incredible morning

Gebrzihair said: ‘‘What an incredible morning. The course was wonderful to race on and I was able to make excellent time with 01:04:14. I am very proud of what I achieved today, especially as the competition was so fierce. I want to thank Ras Al Khaimah for welcoming me here this week and inviting me to compete in such an amazing race. I look forward to defending my title next year.’’

This year’s event also welcomed runners and spectators to a vibrant, family friendly Race Village, offering a range of exciting and interactive experiences, from sporting activations to live music, entertainment and delicious food trucks.

Speaking on the successful race, Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “Congratulations to Jacob Kiplimo and Girmawit Gebrzihair for claiming first place in what was an incredible race from start to finish, and to the rest of the entire field for delivering their best effort in the return of the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon. The high level of sporting talent and competitiveness we witnessed here this morning was simply remarkable.’’