Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya breaking the course record in women's race. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Ruth Chepngetich, who recorded the third fastest time in the history of women’s marathon in Dubai on Friday, clocking 2 hours, 17 minutes and 07 seconds, is now targeting the long-standing world record. After her victory in the UAE, the Kenyan, who broke the Dubai Marathon course record and challenged Paula Radcliffe’s world record timing of 2:15:25 set in London in 2003, said: “I am confident I can break it. It may happen soon.”

Chepngetich trails only Radcliffe and Kenya’s Mary Keitany, who had recorded 2:17:01, also in London. Incidentally, Chepngetich won the Istanbul Marathon with a timing of 2:18:35 just over 10 weeks before coming to Dubai. Only eight women in the history of marathon have broken 2:20 more than once in their career. “I always aim to improve my timing and I have moved up from the seventh place in the list of fastest runners,” Chepngetich added.

During the run, Chepngetich had trouble picking out her drink bottle from the water stations on multiple occasions and, had she managed it without affecting her speed, she may have even recorded under 2:17.

Getaneh Tamire Molla of Ethiopia, who broke the men’s course record in his debut marathon run to emerge as the winner with a time of 2:03:34, candidly admitted he was surprised at such a result. “Being my first time in marathon I did not expect to get such a timing,” he said. “I thought maybe I can finish in 2:05 or 2:06 but 2:03 wasn’t in my dream.”

Molla, who had only previously focused only on 5,000m, candidly admitted that the big prize money of $100,000 (Dh365,000) did attract him to run here. “I wanted to move out from track and try marathon and since the prize money here was good, I decided to give it a try,” he said. “Frankly, now I don’t know what to do with the money as I wasn’t expecting it. I will now go home and think about how to utilise it.”