Is the marathon world record under threat in Dubai?

Atsedu Tsegaye Dubai

The 15th edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon should again see some super-fast times at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race, with Ethiopia’s Markos Geneti  and Kenya’s Jonathan Maiyo among the favourites for the USD$ 200,000 first prize in the men’s race on Friday (22).

In 2012, the race had four runners breaking 2:05. It was the first time that had been achieved on a marathon course eligible for records. A year ago this increased to five men who ran inside that benchmark, a finish which is still unique in marathon running.

However, one surprising aspect was that in both 2012 and 2013 it was men running their first marathon that triumphed. Ethiopia’s Ayele Abshero won in 2012 with a course record of 2:04:23 while Lelisa Desisa ran 2:04:45 last year.

Trying to continue the debutants’ winning streak are their compatriot Atsedu Tsegay and Abera Kuma.

“I have chosen Dubai for my debut because I know this is a fast race on a flat course,” said the 22 year-old Tsegay, who is the fourth fastest man ever on a record-eligible half marathon course with 58:47.

“It is my aim to run 2:05 in my first marathon and of course I would like to continue the debutants’ win streak,” he added.

Tsegay prepared in Addis Abeba for his marathon debut and ran distances of up to 40 kilometres in training. “I will definitely follow the first group, no matter what pace they will run.” Read more