The press conference was standing room only on the first floor of the Dubai Hilton. The best ranked global marathon of 2018, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, was introducing the top athletes, the sponsors and taking questions. I was fortunate to ask two questions. I asked Peter Connerton, the race director, how he could follow up with better races than 2018, with seven men under 2:05 and four women under 2:19! Peter noted that would be tough. I noted that he was keeping expectations down. I was impressed. Peter knows some things we do not know.
The weather on Friday should be quite good. I walked 5k along the river this morning and it was 50-55 F at 7:30 AM. There was some wind, which could be a concern. The course is a fast 2:04 course. It does not have the gradual downill for the last 12k of Berlin, but it has a history of athletes competing until the very last steps!
That was my second question, to Paula Radcliffe: does the close competition help bring faster times? Paula said, that in many cases, yes, as the athletes are all out, and charging. The seven men last year, in the top places, battled until the very end! As did the women! What will 2019 bring? 14 hours to go and we will find out!
If Guye Adole is fit, we can see some fast running. A rumor is going around the hotel that an Ethiopian runner told media that he can break the Ethiopian record, which means under 2:03.03 or better?