An early morning start saw Ethiopian athletes dominate in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon last Friday (20 January). Tamirat Tola broke the course record in 2.04.11, to become the third fastest Ethiopian of all time, and set the ninth fastest marathon time on record.
Kenenisa Bekele's much reported world record attempt ended in failure with a DNF just over half way following a bad fall at the start line. The podium was completed by fellow Ethiopians Mule Wasihun (2.06.46) and Sisay Lemma (2.08.04)
Their compatriots dominated the women's race as well, with another Ethiopian lock out on the podium. Worknesh Degefa impressed on her marathon debut to finish in 2.22.36, pushing Shure Demise into second (2.22.57) with Yebrgual Melese a close third (2.23.13)
The Dubai Marathon is fast becoming a popular destination for runners from all over the world searching for a PB. Gerry Craig (VP Glasgow), flew from Glasgow, while his brother Michael travelled from Singapore to take part in the race. Both improved on their performances last year to run sub-3 hours, clocking 2.57.31 and 2.57.44 respectively
Gerry said: "For ease of number pick-up to race start, a big city marathon could not be any simpler....the course is almost flat and apart from two 180 degree turns, a straight line."
Michael commented “Don’t expect a London type experience in terms of spectator participation. The main supporters tend to congregate in the stands at the finish straights with the principal crowds being the large noisy contingent of Ethiopian supporters.”
Full results are available on our race listings page.