Perhaps the world’s richest marathon gets underway on Friday as top distance runners gather for the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon in the UAE.
Among those featured in this year’s Dubai marathon is Ethiopian running superstar Bekele. Competing against him are a number of top marathoners including at least 20 athletes with personal bests of sub 2:10.
Viewers can watch the Dubai Marathon online by using the live stream provided through the official website. www.dubaimarathon.org.
With so many fast runners competing, there is an expectation that spectators watching around the globe could see a record setting pace this year. With $200,000 on the line for this winner, competition will undoubtedly be fierce.
“I feel confident, I’m happy and I know I’m better prepared than before,” said 32 year-old Bekele, who won his marathon debut in Paris last April with 2:05:04 and then took fourth in Chicago in 2:05:51.
“This is a very important race for me. I want to improve my time. I am confident to make history here, but you can never say you will win – you can’t be sure, because otherwise it would not be a race.
Bekele’s manager Jos Hermens believes his man has never been in better shape. “When he was running on the track he could train for two months and then break a world record but this approach does not work in the marathon,” said Hermens who hopes for a better performance from Bekele than in Chicago. “If he runs a low 2:04, improving by around one minute that would be fine.”
Three-time Dubai winner Haile Gebrselassie will be an interested spectator in Dubai and his national record of 2:03:59 could also become an objective for his young rival. “I have not spoken to Haile about Dubai, but I saw his races when he was competing here. Every race is different,” said Bekele.