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Abu Dhabi, UAE is ready to host its fast annual marathon for over 6,000 participants on Friday, November 26th, 2021, which will be led by a handful of top-level East Africans.

Reuben Kiprop Kipyego, the defending Abu Dhabi Marathon champion is back to defend his title and try to improve upon his personal best of 2:03:55. Kipyego also took second in the 2009 Berlin Marathon as well as the 2019’s Buenos Aires Marathon. The 25-year-old has run sub-2:05 at least three times.

Fellow Kenyan Abel Kirui is also in the race. The 39-year-old NN Running Team member is coached by the legendary Renato Canova. He owns a personal best of 2:05:04. Kirui won the 2009 Berlin Marathon and in 2011 he won the Daegu Marathon and finished fourth in the 2018 London Marathon.

*As per the Tweet below, if you are participating, make sure that you are double-vaccinated against the Coronavirus, follow masking and sanitizing protocols.

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Kenya’s Vivian Kiplagat will attempt to defend her 2019 title. Kiplagat, who came into her own in 2017, won the 2019 Milan Marathon and the 2018 Buenos Aires Marathon and will try to improve upon her personal best record of 2:22:11. She has run at least six sub-70-minute half-marathons including having a best of 66:07. Also in the race is Ethiopian, Alemu Megertu. She owns a best of 2:21:10. She won the 2019 edition of the Rome Marathon and took second in the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon.

The four elite athletes join already confirmed competitors Barnabas Kiptum and Philemon Rono from Kenya in the men’s field and Bahraini Eunice Chumba and Betelhem Moges

Chumba owns a best of 2:23:10. She finished second at the 2017 Rotterdam Marathon and third at the 2021 Milan Marathon. Ethiopian, Moges, owns a personal best record of 2:23:38. Moges won the 2015 Beijing Marathon and took third at the 2016 Valencia Marathon as well as a fourth-place finish in the 2021 Milan Marathon.

The 34-year-old Kiptum has run as fast as 2.04.17. He won both the 2017 Buenos Aires Marathon and 2019 Hong Kong Marathon and placed third in the 2021 Milan Marathon. The 30-year-old NN Running Team member Rono clocked a 2.05.00 when he went on to win the 2019 Toronto Marathon.

In 2018, during the inaugural running of the event, it was found that the course was 200m short. After a re-measure, by the certified course measurers Helmut Winter and Sean Hartnett, found that the 30-35K segment was adjusted by volunteers to provide access to a market leaving the course 200m short of the 42.195K length, plus 1m per km over the shortest possible route.

During that first marathon, Kenya’s Marius Kipserem and Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh won in the times of 2:04:04 and 2:20:16 smashing both of their personal bests.

The race is also hosting half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 2.5K distance events.