Roads

8th RAK Half Marathon - Final Update

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With the 7am start of the 8th edition of the RAK Half Marathon just hours away, 19 of the reduced field of 20 elite athletes in town looked remarkably calm at Thursday afternoon’s pre-race press conference. Most of them arrived during the night but whether one should read anything in to the fact that Ibrahim Jeilan (slowest PB but 2011 World 10,000m Champion) was the only one who slept on through the day, is arguable.

The number should have been 24, but the pressures of highest level training take their toll and this year it’s been RAK’s turn to feel that pinch. Seven of the 10 elite men have broken 60 minutes for a half marathon, the list topped jointly by the two Kenyan Bernards – Koech and Kipyego (both 59:10). Kenya’s Wilson Kiprop (59:15) and Ethiopian Feyisa Lilesa (59:15) are certain to feature, but one Rift Valley athlete who will not, is Dennis Kimetto. The Tokyo and Chicago champion of 2013, pulled out just 48 hours before the race, citing a twisted ankle as the cause.

RAK IS READY TO RUMBLE

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The arrival of the annual RAK Half Marathon each February means it’s game-face time for many of the world’s top road racers, most with an eye on a spring marathon. Race day this year, for what is inarguably the world’s fastest half marathon, is Friday 14th February and there is every reason to believe the racing in RAK as well as the times, will once more be supreme.

The three fastest times in history for a women’s half marathon on a record-legal course, have been set in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) topped by Mary Keitany’s seemingly impregnable 65:50 world record from the 2011 event. And aside from the two dozen sub-one hour clockings by the men in this corner of the UAE, only inadequate drug-testing facilities on the day of the very first event back in 2007 were in the way of Sammy Wanjiru’s 58:53 being officially recognised as a then world record.

Deena Kastor to Headline Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans

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Another U.S. national record for the Olympian is possible this Sunday - NEW ORLEANS – One of the biggest stars in all of running, Olympic bronze medal winner and two-time World Marathon Majors race champion Deena Kastor, will start her 2014 season this Sunday, February 2 at the 5th Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon & ½ Marathon. The U.S. record holder for the marathon and half-marathon will race in Louisiana's largest city for the first time since her collegiate career at the University of Arkansas, where she was a 4-time SEC Champion and an 8-time All-American.

“I look forward to opening my 2014 racing season with my running friends at Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans,” said Kastor (right, image courtesy PhotoRun.net), who is the only American woman to ever break 2 hours, 20 minutes in the marathon. “New Orleans is one of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series’ premier events and I simply have to check this off my list. The course is fast and the atmosphere will be electric, so naturally it feels like a great way to set the tone for the year ahead.”

Hernandez Flies Away with Tinker Bell Half Marathon Victory

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Melissa Hernandez of Oxnard wins her first half marathon ever; More than 30,000 runners take part in women-focused weekend of events centered on health, fitness and active lifestyles - ANAHEIM, Calif. (January 19, 2014) — With the help of a little pixie dust, Melissa Hernandez won her first-ever half marathon Sunday, flying away from the field to win the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.

Hernandez, a 29-year-old from Oxnard, Calif, ran among the leaders early in the 13.1-mile race. But nearly halfway through the event, Hernandez left the remaining challengers behind, floating across the finish line amid cheers, confetti and classic Disney characters.

Hernandez zipped around the course in 1 hour, 25 minutes, 40 seconds, nearly two minutes ahead of second-place finisher Alyssa White of Durham, NC (1:27:28). Hernandez’s winning time was the third-fastest in the race’s three-year history. Kellie Nickerson of Albuquerque, NM, who won the inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon in 2012, came in third (1:28:58).

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR MORE MAGAZINE/FITNESS MAGAZINE WOMEN’S HALF-MARATHON

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10,000 Women Expected to Lace Up for 11th Annual Race on Sunday, April 13th in New York City’s Central Park - NEW YORK, N.Y., (January 9, 2014) – More and FITNESS magazines announced today that registration is open for the 2014 More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon, the largest women’s-only half-marathon in the country. This year’s race will be held on Sunday, April 13, 2014 in New York City’s Central Park.

The 13.1-mile race is open to women runners and walkers of all ages. Registration is accepted online at http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2014/more-magazine-fitness-magazine-womens-half-marathon. To enhance the race-day experience, the size of the event will be capped, so participants are encouraged to register early.

“It’s amazing how much women can accomplish when we band together,” says More Editor-in-Chief, Lesley Jane Seymour. “Year after year, we witness these women—from novice runners to elite athletes to survivors beating the odds—achieve the best version of themselves as they cross the finish line.”

Moreand FITNESS magazines are co-hosting the event in conjunction with New York Road Runners and expect to welcome more than 20,000 race participants and spectators alike to New York City’s Central Park. Athleta and Skechers are the presenting sponsors, Duane Reade and Tonalin are the official product sponsors, CARE and Girls on the Run NYC are the charitable partners and The Better Show is the official media partner.