Premier Half Marathon  1-1702044675502
The RAK Half Marathon will see a new route and have additional distance during the next edition in February 2024. Image Credit: Supplied

Ras Al Khaimah: A world class field will be competing on a new route in the 17th Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon to be held on February 24.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the annual event featuring a new route on Al Marjan Island as well as staging its first ever 10km Road Race.

Hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the RAK Half Marathon will feature many of the world’s elite long-distance athletes in the marquee 21.1km race with thousands of runners joining them either in the associated 10km or 2km runs. It will be the first time the RAK Half Marathon has offered a 10km race, a distance generally considered to the perfect stepping stone for those wishing to prepare for a move up to the half marathon itself.

Coral-shaped islands

The race will also feature a new route that sees the start and finish remain on Al Marjan Island. For 2024, all three races will be on the roads of the emirate’s premiere destination, a unique cluster of four coral-shaped islands in a man-made archipelago.

Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “We are very excited to announce the new date for the iconic RAK Half Marathon. Since its launch 17 years ago, the event has created its own standing on the global running stage directing the sporting spotlight on Ras Al Khaimah and attracting spectators and competitors of all abilities. The yearly race continues to produce world-class champions, while bringing the local and international community together.”

The RAK Half Marathon is already attracting the attention of world-class athletes eager to test themselves in ideal racing conditions as they prepare for the London Marathon and the Paris Olympics. Earlier this year, there was a Kenyan double win in the 16th Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon with Bernard Koech earning the men’s elite title and Hellen Obiri the women’s event in 58:45 and 1:05:05 respectively.

Team competition

“We are honoured to have been entrusted with organising the RAK Half Marathon, one of the most prominent sporting and social events in the UAE,” said Peter Connerton, Managing Director of Pace Events and Race Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

“By introducing a 10km Road Race to the schedule as well as the option for team competition through the Corporate Challenge, we aim to make race day bigger and better than ever, while at the same time ensuring that the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon continues to attract the world’s best distance runners.”