ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon announced the full-line up of elite runners to take part in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Marathon on 7th December at a press conference held at Abu Dhabi Sports Council. International athletes Abera Kuma, Marius Kipserem, Helen Bekele, Ababel Yeshaneh and Merima Mohammed will join previously announced runners including half-marathon record holder Abraham Kiptum, setting the stage for a fierce battle.
“Elite runners who have competed in some of the biggest races in the world will be joining the inaugural ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon and we couldn’t be prouder to host them in our city and have them here with us today. There is a real excitement and buzz around the capital as we prepare to stage our first-ever marathon and we encourage everyone to come down and support all those taking part as we make history together,” said H.E. Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Joining the elite women’s race is on-form long distance runner Ababel Yeshaneh, who came first in the women’s 2018 half-marathon in Istanbul boasting an incredible time of 66:22. This win was closely followed by the Ethiopian’s performance at the Copenhagen half-marathon in September which saw her cross the line with a career best of 65:46, placing second in the competition.
Fellow Ethiopian Helen Bekele, who has achieved both a marathon and half-marathon personal bests this year, will also be at the start line for the first-ever ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon. Bekele completed the 2018 Berlin marathon with a time of 2:22:48 and won the Barcelona marathon in 2017 crossing the line with a time of 2:25:04.
Representing the Elite Male Category and hailing from Ethiopia is 2015’s Rotterdam marathon winner Abera Kuma who earned his first senior international medal at the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Earlier this year, Kuma achieved a personal best for his performance at the 2018 Rotterdam marathon which saw him cross line in 2:05:50, beating his 2015 time by an unbelievable 94 seconds.
Kenya’s Marius Kipserem, will join the race in the capital on December 7th. He won the 2016 Rotterdam marathon with a time of 2:06:11 and completed the 2017 Eindhoven marathon with a time of 2:06:43.
Finally, Merima Mohammed of Bahrain, will join the line up in the elite women’s race. Having ran in only two competitions in the last two years, the Bahrani formerly ran the second-fastest time ever for a woman at the 2013 Houston TX race. To-date, her personal best for a marathon stands at 2:23:06, an achievement she made at the 2010 Toronto marathon.
These five athletes will join previously announced runners, Abraham Kiptum, Stanley Biwott, Gelete Burka and Eunice Chumba on the start line in front of ADNOC Tower.
Commenting at the press conference, Andrea Trabuio, Race Director of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, said, “As the first-ever ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon approaches, it is encouraging to see thousands of people signed up to take part in one of the four races. This is complemented by the international runners who will be taking part in the elite race, one of whom is the current world-record holder for a half marathon.”
Athlete Management manager Federico Rosa said, “I see the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon becoming one of the strongest in the world, attracting world-class athletes, some of whom we are very happy to have with us here today.”
They will also be promoting healthy and active lifestyles to the capital’s residents and encouraging the community to get involved in this historic sporting event in the UAE.
There is still time to join in and take part in the various race categories. For more information visit: www.adnocabudhabimarathon.com