Kenyans Abel Kipchumba and Brigid Kosgei will be competing against Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo, and defending champion Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia in the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon Saturday, February 19. 

The women

Yeshaneh is the defending champion, and Kosgei is the world record holder in the marathon with her 2019 Chicago result of 2:14:04. Her half-marathon best is nearly as impressive at 1:04:49, which the 27-year-old Kenyan set during the 2020 edition of the Ras Al Khaimah race. Kosgei took the silver medal in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympic Games this pas summer.

There is a bit of a rivalry developing between the two women. They went head to head in 2020 finishing 1-2, with Yeshaneh taking the win in the time of 1:04:31.

Yeshaneh has clocked an impressive 10,000m performance of 30:35.91 and has run the marathon as fast as 2:20:51, which she did in Chicago where Kosgei took the world record in 2019. Having traded wins in the past, both will want this one badly.

The men

Kiplimo owns the world half-marathon record with his performance of 57:31 from the 2021 running of the Lisbon Half Marathon. He is the first athlete to breach the 58-minute barrier, which he accomplished at the 2020 Valencia Half Marathon finishing in the time of 57:37.

In that same race was Kipchumba who clocked a 58:07. The 27-year-old has run sub-60-minutes at least a half dozen times.

Kipchumba took first place at the 2021 Valencia Half Marathon and 2021 Adizero Road to Records. He also took second at the 2020 Napoli City Half Marathon.

Depending on conditions and shoes, expect all four athletes to challenge the two respective world records.

The women’s world records are divided into those in women’s only races and mixed races with men. Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey currently has the mixed world record at 62:52, which she ran at the 2021 Valencia Half Marathon.