Zayed International Half Marathon

The Zayed International Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in January in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The inaugural edition of the half marathon race, named after Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,[1] was held in 2008. The race takes place on an AIMS-certified course, which means performances are eligible for record-breaking purposes.[2]

Zayed International Half Marathon
DateEarly January
LocationAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates
Event typeRoad
DistanceHalf marathon
Official siteZayed Half Marathon


The first edition featured many top international runners as the organisers offered a large amount of prize money, including a first prize of US$300,000 and a total pot of US$2 million.[3] Samuel Wanjiru (the world record holder in the event) won the men's race while Lornah Kiplagat (the two-time World Road Running champion) took the prize for the female competition.[4] The 2009 race was scheduled to take place at the Yas Marina Circuit Formula One course, but this was never finalised and the competition was postponed for that year.[5]

The race had its second edition in 2010 and again attracted many high calibre international athletes. A five kilometre race was also added to the programme and more than 35,000 people took part in the races.[1] However, runners criticised the organisation of the race: some athletes were not informed of changes to the start time, and some roads were not closed to traffic and the public, resulting in runners having to weave their way through cars and school children between the Marina Mall and the Emirates Palace.[6][7] The top three finishers in the men's half marathon race all recorded sub-one hour times in spite of warm conditions.[8]

Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the race patron, announced that the competition would change to a full marathon race for the 2011 edition.[9] This will make the race the second marathon event in the UAE, after the Dubai Marathon.

Past winnersEdit

Key:   Course record

Half marathon
Edition Year Men's winner Time (h:m:s) Women's winner Time (h:m:s)
1st 2008   Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) 1:00:33   Lornah Kiplagat (NED) 1:08:52
2009 Not held Not held
2nd 2010   Tilahun Regassa (ETH) 59:19   Mary Keitany (KEN) 1:07:14
2011 Not held Not held
2012 Not held Not held

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Ethiopia's Tilahun Regassa victorious in Abu Dhabi. Ethiopian Review (2010-01-07). Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  2. ^ Aims Race Directory. AIMS. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  3. ^ The Zayed International Half Marathon is Back. Running Times Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  4. ^ Negash, Elshadai (2008-03-01). Wanjiru and Kiplagat win Shekih Zayed Half in Abu Dhabi. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  5. ^ Butcher, Pat (2009-10-20). Wanjiru vs Tadese set for half marathon in Abu Dhabi. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  6. ^ Passela, Amith (2010-01-08). Chaos mars Zayed Half Marathon. The National. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  7. ^ Abbasher, Yasir (2010-01-08). Regassa wins Zayed half-marathon. Gulf News. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  8. ^ Zorzi, Alberto (2010-01-08). Fast wins for Keitany and Regassa in Abu Dhabi Half. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  9. ^ Abbasher, Yasir (2010-01-08). Full Zayed marathon next year. Gulf News. Retrieved on 2010-02-17.

External linksEdit