Fast Times Highlight Dubai Marathon

Thirteen men ran under 2:08, while three women broke 2:20.

(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Today’s 13th edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon was anything but unlucky, as extraordinarly fast results for both men and women broke many records for speed and depth.

In the men’s race, Ethiopia’s Ayele Abshero clocked a course record 2:04:23 to become history’s fifth-fastest man under any conditions, and the fourth-fastest on a record-quality course. Behind him, compatriots Dino Sefir (2:04:50) and Markos Geneti (2:04:54) and Kenya’s Jonathan Maiyo (2:04:56) also broke 2:05 making the Dubai race the first ever where four men broke 2:05 on a record-quality course (four broke 2:05 on Boston’s point-to-point and downhill course last year, also).

But that was just the tip of the pyramid. Going down the finish order, eight men broke 2:06 (a world record), and 13 broke 2:08 (another world record), and best times for place were set for fourth through seventh. A finish time of 2:12:19 was only good for 20th place, well outside the ten-deep prize money list.

Results in the women’s race were similarly impressive. Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia won the race for the second time, clocking a course and national record 2:19:31. Indeed, Mergia became the first Ethiopian women to run under 2:20. Behind her, Kenya’s Lucy Kabuu –who competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games as “Lucy Wangui”– clocked 2:19:34 in her debut, while Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba also went under the previous national record in 2:19:52. Those three women became the first ever to run sub-2:20 in the same race.

Down the finish order, six women broke 2:22 (world record), eight broke 2:24 (another world record) and ten broke 2:26.

Both Abshero and Mergia earned first place prizes of USD 250,000, the largest first place prizes in all of marathon running.

Interestingly, the Standard Chargered Dubai Marathon is the world’s most “top-heavy” marathon. Despite the incredible results at the top of the finish order, only 1575 runners finished the race (1238 men and 337 women). However, finishers were up from 1298 last year, and a record 8344 runners finished the companion 10K.

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