There are just days to go until registration closes for the first Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon, happening on Friday, December 7. The 42.2-kilometer race has already attracted several of the world’s top runners. They include Kenyans Abraham Kiptum, the world record holder for the half-marathon, and 2015 New York Marathon winner Stanley Biwott.
There will be a timed 10km race and 5km and 2.5km fun runs, making the event accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. There is also a wheelchair category.
The Abu Dhabi Sports Council is presenting the race. The council’s general secretary, Aref Al Awani, says the event would be a great day out for family and friends. “It is also a chance for fitness enthusiasts to test themselves in an elite environment and inspire the wider community with their determination and drive.”
Runners will set off from the Adnoc Headquarters on the Corniche and follow a route toward the Emirates Heritage Village and around Marina Mall. Runners then head to King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street and Qasr Al Hosn. The final leg of the race goes through Mina Zayed before returning to Adnoc Headquarters.
The route was designed by the former world record holder, Paul Tergat, the first Kenyan to break the marathon record.
“Designing the route was an interesting, yet challenging, task,” he says. “We wanted participants to run by the capital’s greatest landmarks and enjoy the scenery in an interesting way. The route is a mixture of modern stations and some of the UAE’s oldest and most respected landmarks, providing a great opportunity for participants and supporters to experience new adventures and visit new places.”
Among the elite women who will be racing in the Abu Dhabi marathon are Ethiopian Gelete Burka and Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba Chebichii. The 10,000-meter champions will be running for a share of the US$379,000 (Dh1.39 million) prize. The male and female winners of the full-distance race will each receive $100,000, with $25,000 for second place and $15,000 for third. A cash prize of $3,150 will be awarded to the male and female winners of the wheelchair category.
Participants in all categories of the Abu Dhabi Marathon will receive a medal inscribed with “Year of Zayed,” to mark the 100th anniversary of Sheikh Zayed’s birth.
Adnoc’s executive office director, Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, says the marathon would help to reinforce the capital’s position on the international sporting map.
“Adnoc is proud to bring this great event to the UAE’s capital city and we encourage everyone in the UAE and beyond to get involved, whether competing, volunteering or cheering on friends and family,” says Al Suwaidi.
Entry fees range from Dh52.5 to Dh78.5 (including VAT) for the 2.5km and 5km fun runs, Dh157 for the 10km and Dh367.5 for the marathon. Online registration closes on December 2.
Featured photo: Abraham Kiptum, the world record holder for the half-marathon. Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon.
Amanda Tomlinson is an Australian journalist who has lived in the UAE for almost 11 years. She is still finding her feet in her new role as a mother to a 1-year-old boy, but believes that every misadventure is an opportunity for growth. When Amanda is not singing and dancing around the house with her son, she can be found working out with him, traveling the world with him and trying hard to get some work done.