FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAMMY KORIR GUNNING FOR HAILE IN WORLD'S RICHEST MARATHON
- Entry Deadline Extended As Marathon Mania Hits UAE Runners -
Dubai (UAE): Kenyan distance star Sammy Korir – the third fastest marathon
man in history – will have world record holder Haile Gebrselassie in his
sights at the $2 million Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 18.
Now 36, Korir raced into the history books as only the second man ever to
run under 2 hours, 5 minutes, when he finished second in the 2003 Berlin
Marathon in 2:04:56. In one of the greatest marathon runs in history, Korir
was narrowly beaten by just one second by fellow countryman and the then
world record holder Paul Tergat.
Since then, however, Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie has lowered the world's
best time for the 42.195km race to 2:04:26 – set in Berlin in October 2007
– and both men will have their hearts set on breaking that time once again
as well as on the $1 million bonus cheque that goes with it in Dubai in two
"The quality of the field just gets better and better," said Ahmed Al
Kamali, General Co-ordinator of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon,
which is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and
staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council. "To have two of the
three fastest marathon runners in history underlines the strides we have
made and ensures the 2008 Dubai Marathon will be one of the key athletics
dates in the New Year."
As expected, the appearance of Gebrselassie and now Korir, as well as
multiple world record breaker Lornah Kiplagat in the women's event, has
fired up the passions of local and international athletes. And following
unprecedented late interest in the marathon and its supporting 10km Road
Race and 4km Fun Run, organisers have decided to extend the date for
"The Eid Al Adha holidays and the recent Christmas and New Year break meant
that many people were unable to register so we are giving them the
opportunity of doing so up until midnight on January 10," said Event
Director Peter Connerton. "We fully expect the marathon field to be bigger
than ever, while the 10km and 4km runs are attracting a great deal of
interest with runners from around the world flying in to join those who
live in the region."
Runners wanting to compete in an event offering a record prize-fund of $1
million as well as a bonus $1 million for a new marathon world record are
asked to visit any branch of Standard Chartered or Fitness First, or simply
register online at www.dubaimarathon.org.
Although injuries have played their part in limiting Sammy Korir's recent
outings, the gangly Kenyan has an impressive pedigree. As well as recording
the third fastest time in history, he has won marathons in Cancun,
Amsterdam, Turin, San Diego and Rotterdam as well as finishing runner-up in
the majors in London (2004) and, of course, Berlin behind Tergat in 2003.