Course records were smashed in both the men’s and women’s races.
Ethiopian runner Mosinet Geremew took home the US$200,000 prize at this weekend’s Dubai Marathon, in what has been described as one of the most thrilling finishes in marathon history.
The 25-year-old – who entered the race just days before – set a new course record with his impressive time of 2 hours and 4 minutes. But he was forced to sprint across the finish line, with four more runners finishing within eight seconds of his time. Phew!
Ethiopians took the top 10 spots, with Leul Gebresilase taking second place just two seconds later. Last year’s winner, Tamirat Tola, took third, in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 6 seconds (he still managed to beat his previous course record of 2 hours, 4 minutes and 11 seconds).
In all, seven runners in the men’s race clocked sub 2 hours and 5 minutes – a unique result in world marathon history.
The women’s race also produced record-breaking results, with Roza Dereje, also of Ethiopia, clocking a course record of 2 hours, 19 minutes and 17 seconds, also becoming the seventh-fastest woman in marathon history.
Dereje also claimed a US$200,o00 prize. She was followed by countrywomen Feyse Tadese (2 hours, 19 minutes and 30 seconds) and Yebrgual Melese (2 hours, 19 minutes and 36 seconds).
Such was the standard of the competition that defending champion Worknesh Degefa smashed her personal best by more than two minutes yet still missed out on a place on the podium.
In the wheelchair races, it was a Swiss double with “Silver Bullet” Marcel Hug winning the men’s title with a time of 1 hour, 25 minutes and 14 seconds and compatriot Sandra Graf taking the women’s gold in 1 hour, 45 minutes and 13 seconds.
More than 30,000 runners took part in this year’s marathon, 10km road race and 4km fun run, which has been dubbed the biggest mass participation sporting event in the Middle East.
It’s also known as the “world’s richest race”, thanks to the US$200,000 prizes, with a US$250,000 bonus if a new world record is set.