Mary Keitany Shines at RAK Half Marathon

I woke up at 7:00am last Friday. Our hotel room at the Hilton hotel in RAK was stuffy. I had forgotten to turn our blasted air conditioner on the night before and I suffered as a result! Quickly realizing the time, I got ready and did the short walk to the starting line of the 2011 RAK Half Marathon, along with hubby and a friend.

World Record for a Half Marathon

Mary Keitany

By the time we got to the start/finish line, it was already 8:00am. The chill in the air was ignored by the few hundred fans (and VIP guests, including the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah) as they waited anxiously for Mary Keitany.

It was hugely exciting! After what seemed like an age, Mary Keitany was in full view of the crowd. With just 100 meters to go, it was clear that she was going to smash the world record for a half marathon. Everyone cheered her on. The race announcer couldn’t contain his excitement either. I was clicking away with my camera frantically as the small Kenyan sprinted passed the finish line in 65 minutes and 50 seconds.

What was really surprising to me is that she seemed remarkably fresh – I mean not tired at all. I was also shocked at the speed of it all, so unlike seeing runners on TV where you don’t really get a sense of how fast they are actually running.

The 2012 RAK Half Marathon

We watched the other runners completing the race. I felt for each and every one of them. This year, I finally realized the sacrifice that’s required to succeed in such an event. What an achievement to actually complete it. Maybe my time will come in 2012!

Before then though, the breakfast at the Hilton and a deck chair on the beach, both had my name on it (more on that in another post).


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