Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Kenya’s Cynthia Limo win RAK Half Marathon

Birhanu Legese, centre, wins the RAK Half Marathon on Friday and was followed by Stanley Beyott, right, and Nguste Falidat (PHOTO: Natheer Halawani/The National)

By The National

Birhanu Legese (Ethiopia) and Cynthia Limo (Kenya) proved they are the best half marathon runners in the world as they won the RAK Half Marathon on Friday morning.

For the Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, 22, it was a repeat of his sprint finish tactics in Berlin and Delhi last year which once again saw him take a third major victory over 13.1 miles.

He sat in the pack for the entire race on Friday and then out kicked 2015 New York marathon winner Stanley Biwott. Birhanu Legese finished with a winning time of 1 hour and 40 seconds.

In the men’s race, he was followed very closely by Stanley Biwott, who tallied the same time, and then Nguse Amlosom (1:00:41), Abraham Cheroben (1:00:41) and Edwin Kipyego (1:00:45).

Kenya’s Cynthia Limo, 26, took advantage of excellent pace making in the women’s race to pull away from reigning world half marathon champion Gladys Cherono in the final kilometer.

Her scorching winning time of 1:06:04 was a massive personal best and places her third on the official all-time list behind only Florence Kiplagat and Mary Keitany.

Gladys Cherono’s time of 1:06:07 places her fourth on the all-time list in a race of unparalleled quality. On the women’s side, the first six finishers all broke 67 minutes with five recording personal bests.