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Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the much anticipated Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon returned for its 16th edition this morning, with an electrifying race that saw world-class athletes, Benard Koech and Hellen Obiri cross the finish line victoriously as winners.

Following the hugely successful race, which saw intense competition from 28 elite athletes vying for the top spot, the first, second, and third place runners were recognized at an award ceremony. In addition to the elite field, the race recorded participation from over 5,500 runners across four categories, including the half marathon, half marathon – relay teams of two, 5 KM, and 1 mile races. Offering an attractive prize fund of AED 1,219,000, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon saw elite and non-elite runners tackle the fantastic flat and fast course, taking them on a scenic route across the stunning Marjan Island set against the backdrop of the nature Emirate’s shimmering coastline.

Storming ahead in the men’s category and through the finish line in first place prize, was Benard Koech, with an impressive new personal best time of 58:45. Hailing from Kenya, Koech took home the gold in today’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2023, which saw ideal weather conditions, making for a thrilling race. He was followed closely by his fellow countrymen Daniel Mateiko in second place, with a remarkable time of 58:49, and third place was awarded to Richard Kimunyan, who clocked up a time of 59:37.

Similarly, the women’s race saw intense competition from start to finish, with Hellen Obiri from Kenya being crowned the winner of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2023, with an exceptional time of 1:05:05. Gotytom Gebreslase from Ethiopia took second place, crossing the finish line with a time of 1:05:51, while the half marathon’s third place went to Ftaw Zeray, who secured a time of 1:06:04.

As part of the commitment to delivering an unforgettable experience, this year’s half marathon welcomed runners and spectators to a vibrant, family-friendly race village, boasting a plethora of exciting and interactive experiences, from entertainment along the race course to live music, sporting activities, and more.

A perfect getaway for athletes and sports enthusiasts alike, the half marathon took Ras Al Khaimah by storm with an activity-filled race weekend, featuring a pre-race pasta party on February 17 at the Double Tree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island, and a post-race celebratory brunch, complete with an expansive menu, refreshments, and live entertainment.

Speaking on the successful race, Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented: “The 2023 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon was a display of remarkable athleticism and unwavering spirit. We are thrilled to see our community come to together for one of our most important events of the year and to welcome participants from home and abroad. Not only does RAK Half Marathon remain the world’s fastest half marathon but it genuinely positions our Nature Emirate as a premier sports destination. We thank all our sponsors for their instrumental contribution to making this event a huge success, and look forward to continuing our partnership as we organize an enhanced experience in future editions to come.”

Luca Onofrio, Head of Mass Events at RCS Sports and Events, stated: “The 16th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon saw successful results, all thanks to the wonderful weather conditions which enabled stand-out performances from all participants. Each year, we look forward to putting forth an incredible race that not only delivers an unrivalled experience for running enthusiasts but also attracts the top-ranking elite athletes from across the globe. We are extremely proud to continue achieving and surpassing this goal, working alongside the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority for this landmark event.”

Kaarina Pagil, Vice President of Under Armour, commented: “Under Armour is thrilled to be part of such an incredible event, showcasing world-class athletic talent and bringing together individuals from all walks of life to celebrate health, wellness, and community. As a brand dedicated to empowering athletes everywhere, we are proud to support the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon and its participants as they push their limits and chase their goals. We congratulate all the runners on their amazing achievements, and look forward to continuing to support and inspire them through our innovative apparel and footwear solutions.”