FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Another Million Dollar Marathon in Dubai
Dubai Speeds Into New Year
With another record breaking distance running year drawing to a close, it
won't be long until the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon races into 2013
in a similar direction, in just over a month's time.
Debutante Ayele Abshero of Ethiopia led a quartet under 2.05 last January,
beating his illustrious compatriot Haile Gebrselassie's course record with
2.04.23, the fourth fastest in history; and in the process won the single
biggest race prize in world marathoning, $250,000. With a pot like that
(one million dollars in all, equal rights, men and women), there is an
impressive list of contenders for next month's Dubai race, on January 25,
Abshero is currently injured (as is women's winner, Aselefech Mergia), and
so cannot defend; but leading the men's pack is Moses Mosop, the second
fastest man in history, with his 2.03.06, four seconds behind Geoffrey
Mutai, in Boston last year.
Mosop went on to win Chicago later in the year, but had to give best in
Rotterdam 2012 to Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia who won in 2.04.48. Tsegay has
no fewer than eight sub-2.10 times to his credit, and in renewing his
rivalry with Mosop in Dubai, the pair will have another 21st century
'great' to contend with, in Martin Lel. Three-time winner in London, and
twice in New York, Lel failed to finish on his Dubai debut last year, but
his impressive win-rate coupled with a best of 2.05.15 suggests that no one
will be underestimating him.
With 13 men under 2.08, and another five under 2.10, Dubai has in a very
short time become one of the highest quality fields in the world of
marathoning. And although race director Peter Connerton admits, "Last
year's results will be hard to beat," no one will argue when he adds," but
we will once again put a field together that will attempt to achieve
results in depth and not just a fast winning time.
"In addition, we are giving many young debutants the opportunity to
challenge and surprise as Abshero did last year. Once again we will try to
set the pace for the coming Marathon season".
One such debutant is Ali Abdosh, who, despite a medal in the African
Championships, and a sixth in the World Champs, hasn't quite lived up to
his early track promise; yet is persuaded by victory in the Boston 'half'
in 2011 that it's time to take the marathon plunge. Equally, Bernard Koech
and Mike Kigen of Kenya, and the Ethiopian pair of Lelisa Desisa and Tujuba
Beyu bring sub-60min half-marathon credentials to the mix.
With twice winner, in 2011/12, Mergia injured, her Ethiopian colleagues
Tirfi Tsegay, Mamitu Daska and Koren Jelela will be favourites to lift the
quarter million dollar prize in the women's race. Daska won Dubai in 2010,
but Jelela won Toronto with 2.22.43 in 2011, and with even better
form, Tirfi Tsegay won Paris last April in 2.21.40, and followed that up
with second in Berlin in late September, in 2.21.19.