RAK bids for 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships
The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has its own special place in the world of athletics with the race held in the stunningly beautiful Al Marjan Island, against the backdrop of the turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea, being dubbed the ‘world’s fastest half marathon.’
And as the Emirate bids to play host to the World Athletics Road Running Championships in 2023, the race couldn’t have a better stamp of approval than the men’s and women’s world champions.
Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie and Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh will return to defend their titles at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.
The organisers of the event announced some of the elite athletes who will compete in the 15th running that takes place on February 19, 2021.
And lending more weight to the event apart from Kandie and Yeshaneh will be Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo, who is the world half marathon champion in the men’s and Kenyan Brigid Kosgei, the world marathon record holder in the women’s segment.
Ras Al Khaimah have confirmed that they have submitted their bid to host the World Athletics Road Running Championships in three years time.
According to World Athletics, the official launch and the bid guide will be shared next month, while the pre-qualification deadline and verification will be on February 1, 2021. The completed bid application deadline is on June 1 2021, while the council selection and announcement of the winner will be in July.
“It is such a great race and the fact that they are launching it, we would love Ras Al Khaimah to be the host destination,” said Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.
“We have submitted our bid for it. Ras Al Khaimah has the right temperature, the right climate, it has got the right ambience, everything, and we have so much experience with the success of the RAK Half Marathon that we think we would be the perfect host destination,” he added.
Phillips said that the 15th edition will be different in many aspects especially against the backdrop of the pandemic.
“The RAK half marathon is the legacy that we have in the destination and it is very, very special to us. And we want to make sure that safety and security is the top priority. A lot of changes the team has put together to ensure that not only is it the fastest race, the funnest race but also the safest race,” the American said.
Meanwhile Andrea Trabuio, the Race Director, revealed that while the elite route will remain the same as last year, the course has been tweaked for the non-elite runners.
“For this year, we have two different routes, one for the elite race and the other for the none-elite race. We decided to divide it because of the pandemic. We want to ensure social distancing, the security of the athletes, the security of the athletes,” said Trabuio.
There will be temperature checks and thermal scanners in place as well as sanitisation stations.
“This is the best opportunity for us to have a great event to promote the bidding for the World Half Marathon in 2023. This time, probably we will have the best elite field of athletes. So, what better opportunity than this,” he added.
Federico Rosa, the Athlete Representative, said that more elite names will be announced over the next few weeks.