Dubai: Regarded as one of the world’s leading marathons, the Dubai Marathon looks set to underline its position as the Arab world’s biggest mass participation event following the launch of online runner registration for the 2015 race.
With more than 25,000 runners expected across the three races - the marathon itself, the popular 10-km and the four-km Fun Run -- the 2015 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is certain to see the biggest field in its history.
Already more than 5,000 runners have signed up online with thousands more expected as the clock ticks down to the starting gun Jan 23, 2015.
While many other running events have been added to the UAE sporting calendar over the years, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, held under the auspices of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, is a major sports event for professional and amateur athletes alike.
In January, Tsegaye Mekonnen Asefa and Mula Seboka made it an Ethiopian clean sweep with Tsegaye coming home in a new world junior record time of 2:04:32 to win the men’s title, while Seboka claimed the ladies crown in a time of 2:25:01. Both athletes returned home each with a winner’s cheque of $200,000.
"The race may still be over four months away but we are already seeing a large number of athletes going online to register for the various categories," Peter Connerton, event director, said.
As well as being the richest event of its kind in the world, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon was the first Middle East marathon to be awarded Gold Label status from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and boasts a set of winning times that make it one of the best and fastest races in the world.