November 2020


  • Routes and technical sponsor announced for the 15th edition of the world’s fastest half marathon
  • Modified non-elite route to ensure the safety of all runners during global pandemic
  • Leading Spanish sports brand Joma named as technical sponsor
  • Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority announces its bid plans to host the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships
  • Over 1,000 runners have already signed up for the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, taking place on 19th February 2021
  • Participants can stay motivated and train for the main event with the upcoming Virtual Training Runs

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority (RAKTDA) today announced the race routes and technical sponsor for the 2021 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, the race will once again take place at the stunning Al Marjan Island, with all athletes treated to pristine views of white sandy beaches and the shimmering ocean along the run.

Known as the world’s fastest half marathon, the 15th edition of the event will feature two routes; one for elite athletes and another for runners of all abilities.  While the elite route will remain the same as the 2020 course, the non-elite route has been positioned strategically with separate start and finish areas to maintain the highest safety measures and respect social distancing protocols. The elite race will begin at 6.30 am, with the non-elite race waves starting from 7.30 am onwards.

For the second consecutive year, leading Spanish sports equipment brand, JOMA, has been named the technical sponsor for the world-class half marathon, supporting with high quality sportswear for attendees. Using cutting-edge technology, JOMA’s light-weight MESH fabric t-shirts offer superior levels of breathability, keeping runners fresh and dry throughout the race. The t-shirt’s round collar and slim-fit design ensures greater comfort and quality performance.

RAKTDA also announced its bid to host the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships, a new global event that will bring together thousands of runners from around the world. The event will incorporate the existing World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, as well as a five-kilometre competition.

Sports and adventure tourism is key to Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism development strategy and hosting such a prestigious event such as the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships will be an important addition to the Authority’s events calendar, showcasing its growing tourism industry and boosting the number of travellers to the Emirate.

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority commented: “We are delighted and ready to welcome sports enthusiasts to our wonderful Emirate.  Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is not only a world-renowned sporting event but next year more so than ever it will represent a genuine step towards recovery for the tourism industry.  The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has proven to be a huge success in the past years and with our bid to host the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships, we are excited to put the Emirate on the map as a top destination for sports tourism, showcasing everything that we have to offer, from adventure, culture and to sustainable and nature based travel.’’

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon takes place on Friday 19 February 2021, with Ethiopian distance runner and current half marathon World Record Holder, Ababel Yeshaneh, already confirmed to be taking part. Fierce competition is once again predicted between Ababel, who claimed her status as World Champion after winning the 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon earlier this year, and Bridgid Kosgei, current Marathon World Record holder and recent London Marathon winner. Additionally, competing in the 2021 men’s race is Ugandan, Jacob Kiplimo. The 20-year-old, long-distance runner took victory and claimed his country’s first medal at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, in October, ahead of Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie.

Enrico Fili’, CEO of RCS Sports and Events, added: “It is incredible to see the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon continue to gain such great traction and huge popularity on both a regional and international scale. It is a fantastic event, and we are delighted to be facilitating its delivery in such challenging times. With Ababel’s successful breaking of the world record in the 2020 event, next year’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, with its incredible elite line-up, is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.”

Prior to February’s event, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has launched three free to enter virtual build-up training runs aimed at helping participants prepare for the big day. Catering to runners of varying abilities, the remaining virtual training runs will include a 10K, set to take place on the weekend of 11-12 December and a 15K, scheduled for 15-16 January 2021. With amazing prizes on the table from sponsors of the event, runners registered for the main event stand to win big from entering the runs and sharing their completed run successes on social,

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 is Bureau Veritas certified as a SafeGuard Assurance Program, with stringent safety measures to be implemented across the board to safeguard participants, volunteers, guests and residents, aligned with global best practice and national federal directives.

With limited slots available and over 1,000 runners already entered for the main event, runners are encouraged to register for the race immediately. Official race socks, priced AED 60 plus VAT, can be purchased during registration with two sizes – UK 4-7 (EUR 36-40), UK 8-12 (EUR 42-47) – available, while participants can also personalise their t-shirt for AED 80 plus VAT. Once ordered, each item will be delivered with the race pack via courier ahead of the event.

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