The 3rd Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon which takes place on 20 February has had its already mouth-watering start list strengthened by the addition of two-time Olympic 10,000m champion Derartu Tulu (ETH) and reigning RAK champion Salina Kosgei (KEN).
The RAK Half Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
The previously announced line-up was headed by two great Kenyan runners, veteran Edith Masai (67:45) and world’s fastest runner of 2008 Philes Ongori (67:57).
As well as the addition of Tulu and Kosgei, Abebu Gelan (ETH), sixth at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships last October, also joins the list, as does 2004 Olympic marathon fourth placer, Elfenesh Alemu (ETH) who has run 69:46. These changes bring the number of "sub 70" minute starters at RAK to thirteen.
Now 36-years-old, Tulu won the 2001 Lisbon Half Marathon in her current PB of 67:03. As well as her Olympic 10,000m titles she was 2001 World champion at that distance and is a three-time World Cross Country title winner. The 2001 winner of the London Marathon, she has a PB for the marathon of 2:23:30 from when finishing fourth in the 2005 World Champs in Helsinki.
Kosgei, 32, has won the Lisbon Half Marathon twice (2006 and 2008), and holds her PB at the distance from the first of those victories (67:52), and has a personal best at the full marathon of 2:23:22 from when coming second in Berlin in 2006. She was Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion in 2002.
On the men's side, 36-year-old Hendrick Ramaala (RSA) has thrown his hat in to the ring too, while Race Director Nathan Clayton has confirmed, that Ethiopia's Deriba Merga, despite his Houston Marathon win of 2:07:52 on 18 January - just under five weeks before RAK's 20th February date - will stick to his commitment to line up for the half marathon in the UAE's northernmost Emirate.
RAK media dept for the IAAF