The elite marathon in Dubai Marathon began at 6 am. The temperature was a modest 57 degrees and the fog was thick! Off the big screen in the Media Center, we watched the athletes, with three pacemakers for men and two for the women, pushing the pace for lead packs as they ran into history.
And from the fog, into history they ran. In this short video, you see the accurate viewing of the fog, the cool desert airt ( a bit humid for first 10k), as lead packs of men and women got into a rythm.
The men’s first half was fast, 14:15 for 5k, 29:08 for 10k, 43:39 for 15k, HM in 61:36, with a pack of ten. The cool weather, and the quality of the field were two of the factors that made this such a deep race. Hitting 25k in 1:12:58, then, 30k in 1:27:48 and 35k in 1:42:35. Then, the men’s race got downright serious. Who would win, could it be Tamirat Tola, 2017 winner, debut marathoner Leul Gebreselase? Or would be it be hard charging Asefa Mengstu?
For the men, the 40k was hit in 1:57:40. And then, it was seven athletes. Tola had an issue at 35k where he nearly fell getting his drink as another marathoner stepped in front of Tola. The pace continued to pick up and finally, with less than 3k to go, there were five athletes. Mengstu led, then, Tola led, then, Gebrsilasie. But, as we have learned before, he who can hold his or her kick to the very last, many times, picks up the big medals, and here, the big payday.
Mosinet Geremew picked up over the last 2 kilometers. The final kilometer had six men together and the mass finish was deepest in history, seven men under 2 hours five minutes!
The women’s race had huge superlatives, but different results. At 70 minutes, and 7 seconds, a pack of twelve to fifteen women were deep into their own races. The only suprise was Asefelech Mergia, who, had won three times previously in Dubai. The Asefelech Mergia who ran on Friday was, more than likely, not marathon fit, as Mergia retired before the 15k.
The women’s race was steady, 16:45 for 5k, 33:11 for 10k, 49:49 for 15k, and 70:07 for the half marathon. The women’s elite race continued to impress as a pack focused on 2:20 times, continued to run, 1:23:09 for 25k, 1:39: 41 for 30k. The Ethiopian crowd continued to press, and again, with Feyse Tadesse, Yebrugal Mesisse, Worknesh Degefe, and Haftammesh Tesfay continue to press. 40k for the women was passed in 2:12:53. Running the last 2.2k in 6:21 by Roza Dereje to give her sixteen seconds of cushion for the win. Dereje lead four women under 2 hours, twenty minutes, something never done before anywhere!
Later in the evening, Race Director Peter Connerton admitted his pleasure in the results of the 2018 Dubai Marathon. Connerton told RunBlogRun that World records can be left to other races. For Peter Connerton, the increasing depth of the 2018 Dubai Marathon shows that their methods make sense. The early races start, the fine tuning on the course, have made the race in the desert faster. And Connerton, the Dubai Marathon race director believes that there are more superlatives to come from Dubai!
2018 Standard Chartered top 10 men, (unofficial times), 1. Mosinet Geremew, ETH, 2:04:00, 2. Leul Aleme Gebrsilasie, ETH, 2:04:02, 3. Tamarat Tola, ETH, 2:04:06, 4. Asefa Mengstu, ETH, 2:04:06, 5. Sisay Lemma, ETH, 2:04:08, 6.Gurmese Legese, ETH, 2:04:15, 7. Seifu Tura, ETH, 2:04:44, 8. Yenew Alimerew, ETH, 2:08:56, 9. Mekuent Ayanew, ETH, 2:09:20, 10. Berhanu Teshone, ETH, 2:10:27
2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, top ten women (unofficial times), 1. Roza Dereje, ETH, 2:19:14, 2. Feyse Tadesse, ETH, 2:19:30, 3. Yebrugual Melisse, ETH, 2:19:36, 4. Worknesh Degefe, ETH, 2:19:55, 5. Haftammesh Tesfay, ETH, 2:20:13, 6. Delete Burka, ETH, 2:20:45, 7. Dera Dida Yami, ETH, 2:21:45, 8. Desi Jesa Mokonen, ETH, 2:24:05, 9. Sombere Teferi Sora, ETH, 2:24:11, 10. Muluye Dekebo Haleymariam, ETH, 2:26:52.