Are you planning a trip to the UAE and want something different from the usual hotel stay? You’re in luck…
Every year, in February, Ras Al Khaimah welcomes over 5,000 participants to the half marathon dubbed ‘The fastest in the world’. The event historically attracts over 60 of the world’s fastest elite and amateur runners across the UAE and internationally.
The 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon was attended by world record holder and reigning Ras Al Khiamah champion Ababel Yeshaneh, 2020 London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei, five-time world champion Geoffrey Kamworor and two-time world 5,000-metre champion Hellen Obiri. The race saw new course records, with Jacob Kiplomo winning the men’s first place with an exceptional time of 57.56, whilst Girmawit Gebrzihair won the women’s race with an equally impressive time of 1.04.14.
Not only is the marathon the world’s fastest, but it is probably the most beautiful. The recently announced flat course runs from Al Marjan Island Boulevard in front of DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island. Runners will take to the roads that wind spectacularly across the island, passing world-leading hotel destinations as they head along Sheikh Mohammed bin Salem Road and circle through Al Amwaj Avenue before heading back to the starting point to cross the finish line. Race Village boasts a host of exciting and interactive experiences throughout the race, from sporting activations to live music, entertainment and delicious food trucks.
2023 sees the 16th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, famously known for its breathtaking race route that never fails to provide stunning views of the Arabian Gulf, palm trees, white sandy beaches and the formidable Jebel Jais mountains in the distance. The spectator-friendly course gives supporters a chance to soak up all the excitement, from watching world-class elites or the relay teams to cheering along the next generation of runners in the one-mile or five-kilometre fun runs.
Under Armour, the official technical sponsor, is well-known for providing game-changing sports apparel and essential athletic accessories for sportsmen and women from around the world. It will provide each participant with the latest apparel to ensure utmost comfort as they run the fast and flat route. Since 1996, Under Armour has provided sports enthusiasts and professionals with clothing and innovative footwear. Participants can purchase items from their unique collection from various ranges, including performance footwear.
Iyad Rasbey, Executive Director of Destination Tourism Development & MICE at Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “Sports and events are key to our development strategy, and hosting the 16th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon plays a significant role in attracting thousands of participants and spectators from across the globe to our stunning Emirate. The 2023 edition is set to be even bigger and better, as runners challenge themselves over our stunning, oceanfront course for what is set to be a riveting and action-packed event for both athletes and the local community with a range of activities and celebrations for all.”
When training for a long race such as the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, it’s essential to set your intentions and goals with enthusiasm and motivation. Experienced runners tend to set up a three-month training programme that includes daily exercise. It’s imperative that you are realistic with your training goals and fit around your current obligations, such as work and family life, or sadly, you’ll set yourself up for failure. Once you have identified your commitments, availability, and daily routine, consider the intensity of your training. Don’t jump straight into too much training; this could result in an injury. Many personal trainers, coaches and running clubs can guide you through a responsible training programme unique to your strengths and weaknesses. Regular training, an increase in fitness and sheer determination will get you through your chosen race.
The newly introduced Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2023 Running Hub features articles covering a range of topics, including running in the heat, prepping for race day, motivation tips, discipline, and much more, from the #RAKHalf2023 Under Armour Squad. Available on the website, participants and running enthusiasts of all levels can now keep up their training with a steady stream of new articles published monthly.
How to book
You can book your slot on the official Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon website. First, you’ll choose the category that you’d like to enter.
|Half Marathon||21.10 kilometres. A timed event. This is open to participants 16 years and older|
|Half Marathon Relay||21.10 kilometres. The team of two will each cover half the course. A timed event. This is open to participants 16 years and older|
|Five-kilometre run||This is open to participants 14 years and older|
|One-mile fun run||This family-inspired run is open to runners (and walkers) of all ages|
The groundbreaking (and hopefully record-breaking) race will award a total prize fund of AED1,219,000 (over US$330,000) to the winners and runner-up runners in the elite categories and top performers in the other categories.
|7.00 am||Half marathon and half marathon team relay|
|9.30 am||5-kilometre race|
|10.30 am||1-mile fun run|
Volunteers will supervise the entrances to the allocated start sections. They will check your bib to verify that you are entering the departure sector assigned to you based on your estimated finish time. Latecomers will have to start at the end of the group. There is a medical support team and ample refreshment stops throughout the race.
The roads on Al Marjan Island will be closed for three hours. If you exceed this race limit, please move to the pavements to complete your run.
The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is a sociable family-friendly event. You can join the Friday night Pasta Party for all those essential energy-inducing carbs the night before the race. On Saturday, after the race, to celebrate your successes, you can join the Saturday brunch. You can book when you reserve your space or email with the subject Friday pasta party request orSaturday brunch request before the deadline of 17 February.
You can personalise your tee shirt with up to 15 characters with your name, nickname, cause or club. The personalisation costs AED80 plus VAT and must be reserved before 31 January. You can either provide the details at registration or send an email with the subject personalised tee shirt request.
Included in the entry fee, please provide a physical delivery address for your race pack, including a bib, tee shirt and bag. Please state your tee shirt size at the time of registration. The race pack cannot be delivered overseas, but the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will announce a collection point nearer the time.
Where to stay
There is a plethora of world-class hotels on Al Marjan Island for race participants;
|Distance from the race start|
|Double Tree by Hilton Marjan Island Resort & Spa||0 kilometres|
|Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island||0.5 kilometres|
|Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island||1.2 kilometres|
|Marjan Island Resort & Spa||2 kilometres|
|Rixos Bab Al Bahr||2.2 kilometres|
|Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah Marjan Island||2.4 kilometres|
Other hotels are available in Al Hamra Village, Mina Al Arab and Ras Al Khaimah city.
Transportation is available from other emirates.