Peres Jepchirchir to take on Germany's running ace at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

ATHLETICS Peres Jepchirchir to take on Germany's running ace at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

Abigael Wafula 11:41 - 23.02.2024

Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir will be up against one of Germany's greatest long-distance runners at this year's Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

Despite the new course, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will still promise to be a thrilling showpiece with Olympic and world champions gracing the race.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 24, and fast times are certainly expected with the women’s world record over the distance in great danger.

Headlining the women’s field is Olympic marathon champion, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya who will be vying for victory on the global stage.

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However, her toughest opposition will come from Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany, who surprised the East Africans when she beat a dozen of them to win her debut half-marathon in Valencia in 2022.

Klosterhalfen, a world bronze medallist on the track and European 5000m champion, is just bouncing back from an injury. She had changed her shoe sponsor, and left her coach and long-term training venue in the USA already.

She then switched again and has teamed up with Gary Lough, latter-day coach to Mo Farah and spouse of former world record holder Paula Radcliffe.

Klosterhalfen has also switched her altitude training venue to Addis Ababa, where she has just spent six weeks, coming directly to here.

However, Jepchirchir is not one to be downplayed since she is a pro for winning races. Recently, she won the Olympic marathon, and the New York and Boston Marathon, a rare collective achievement. In her comeback marathon following an injury, she finished third in last year’s London Marathon.

Meanwhile, the men’s race will be headlined by former World marathon champion Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia. Tola suffered an injury preventing him from successfully defending his 2022 World title in Budapest last summer.

However, he recovered and was able to break the long-standing New York Marathon record. He is one of the few elites to be making his debut at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon. Daniel Mateiko is the fastest in the field and he will be keen to give the Ethiopian a run for his money.