A million US$dollars for a World record, and a further million per race in prizes is on offer for at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 2008.
First prize for both men and women for the next event on 18 January 2008 will be $250,000. That doubles the current leading marathon prize of $125,000 for the Chicago Marathon. The further attraction for leading runners is that the Dubai pot is tax-free.
The initiative was taken by race patron, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, who wants to crank up the marathon – now in its tenth year – to the status of other multi-million dollar sports events in Dubai, such as the Dubai World Cup horse race, the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament, and the Dubai Tennis Open.
Race Director Peter Connerton said yesterday (Saturday), “We are proud and delighted that the Government of Dubai has shown its commitment and support of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon. Our appreciation goes to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, Mohammed Al Gergawi, the CEO of Dubai Holding, and Matar Al Tayer, vice-president of the Dubai Sports Council.”
This year’s Dubai race, on a new course which goes past the celebrated 7-star Burj Al Arab hotel, was won in 2:09:53 by William Rotich of Kenya, who said, I think with the right people and pacing, someone could do 2:05 here”. The World record of his compatriot, Paul Tergat is 2:04:55. Askale Magarska of Ethiopia ran a new course record of 2:27:19 this year. Paula Radcliffe’s World record is 2:15:25.
Pat Butcher for the IAAF