• Participants from across the UAE praise capital for providing a very special running experience
• Thousands visit all-new event village to enjoy family-friendly entertainment and cheer on runners
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 7, 2019: With a brand-new course and all-new event village, the 2019 ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, has drawn praise from both elite runners and fans alike. A record 16,797 runners across four race categories registered in this year’s event, which was held this morning (6 December) and took in the capital’s iconic landmarks including Emirates Heritage Village and the historic Qasr Al Hosn.
Speaking about his time in the UAE capital, men's race winner Reuben Kipyego said: 'For me, the conditions were ideal and the course was beautiful and I’m already looking forward to returning to Abu Dhabi to defend my title.'
Covering 42.195km, the 2019 edition took place in perfect conditions. Starting in front of title sponsor ADNOC’s HQ, runners headed out along the Corniche before passing the Emirates Heritage Village and making their way around Marina Mall. With runners of all abilities also taking on the 10km, 5km and 2.5km courses, the unique atmosphere that surrounds the race was enhanced by the new location of the event village in the heart of the route, making it both more spectator-friendly and exciting for participants who were encouraged on by cheering fans.
Bringing visitors even closer to the action, the new Event Village – or ‘ADNOC Energy Zone’ – saw runners and spectators enjoy a variety of family-focused activities over five days. Entertainment on race day was provided by DJs and live bands, as well as traditional Ayallah and Tanoura dancers. A bubble lady and magician provided additional fun for the children.
Adel, an Emirati government worker who lives in Ras Al Khaimah and was running his first marathon praised the city, commented: “I work in Abu Dhabi and so I often do training runs in the city. Today, however was very special and an honour to run a full marathon through our capital city.”
Marwa, a Palestinian executive assistant from Sharjah travelled to the capital to join friends in the 5k race. She said: “Some friends of mine took part last year and told me how much fun it was so I was determined to participate this time around. I’m now more motivated to get involved in sports activities and improve my fitness. I’ve taken part in some obstacle course races in the past but this was my first road race and it was such a pleasant experience running next to the sea at the perfect time of year. For sure, I will be doing it again next year.”
First place in the male marathon went to Reuben Kipyego of Kenya with a time of 2:04:40, while Vivian Kiplagat, also from Kenya, crossed the finish line first in the female marathon with a personal best time of 2:21:11.