She may not have achieved her pre-race target of reclaiming the World Half Marathon record but Mary Keitany's dominant outing was enough to win the women’s title at this year’s RAK Half Marathon in 1:06:02 on Friday.
Keitany, who returned to marathon after a maternity break with victory at the New York Marathon last November, upstaged Ethiopian Mamitu Daska (1:06:27) and compatriot Cynthia Limo (1:07:02) to second and third places respectively.
Josephine Chepkoech also from Kenya finished fourth in 1:07:32.
Ethiopia's Mosinet Geremew beat a strong field that included last year's Chicago Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge to emerge the winner in the men's race in 1:00:05. Kenyans occupied the next five slots in Dubai.
It’s at the same course where Keitany set a new world half marathon record time of 1:05:50 on February 18, 2011 before another Kenyan, Florence Kiplagat, broke it at the Barcelona Half Marathon in 1:05:12 in February last year.
Keitany and three rivals went through 10km in 31:07; one second faster than Florence Kiplagat’s split in Barcelona last year prior to her world record showing.
Limo and Chepkoech dropped away during the next 5km as Keitany and Daska passed the 15km checkpoint in 46:41.
Keitany pulled away from Daska in the next 5km before clinching the win, just 12 seconds adrift of her own course record set in 2011, which was a world record at the time and stood as the global standard until Kiplagat’s feat in the Catalan city a year ago.
Geremew weathered a three-way to win the men’s race on the line in 1:00:05 as Daniel Wanjiru and Jonathan Maiyo came in second and third in 1:00:06 and 1:00:07 respectively.