The ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon returned to the capital this weekend, signaling the safe and successful return of mass-participation sporting events.
The third edition reached full capacity, with 12,000 participants competing across six race categories; 1,792 runners took on the full marathon distance, with 3,697, 3,643 and 2,779 taking part in the 10KM, 5KM and 2.5KM, respectively.
The event took place in perfect weather conditions, with the winners, Kenyan’s Titus Ekiru and Judith Jeptum Korir, completing the race with record times of 02:06:13 and 02:22:30 respectively. This year’s marathon welcomed 35 world-class runners in the elite categories, the highest number of elite athletes to compete in the event to-date.
Following its incredible success in the previous edition, the 2021 ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon also saw the return of the wheelchair category, with Emirati Ayed Alahbabi, representing the Alain Club for People of Determination, taking the win, with an incredible time of 1:35:13, followed closely by runner ups Emirati Badir Al Hosani and Omani national, Ali Al Saadi.
This year’s marathon also hosted a vibrant, family-friendly event village, which opened on 22 November, allowing spectators to enjoy a plethora of activations and unforgettable experiences. The four-day event took place from 5:00pm to 10:00pm each day until 25 November, with an even more energy fueled event village kicking off this morning from 6:00am.
The event village featured a wide range of live entertainment, sponsor activities, and family games, including a Nike Dome, featuring a treadmill competition, and complimentary health checks provided by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) as part of their HAYAT campaign.
Participating in his first 10KM run, Muhmmad Ammar Ijaz said: ‘‘This is my first time in Abu Dhabi, so I was really excited to come here today and race. I had the best experience running – it was actually my first ever competitive race, and I managed to finish my 10KM in 1 hour, 25 minutes. I will definitely return next year and hopefully compete in the marathon.’’
Also, a 10KM participant was Dara Ahmed: ‘‘Today I completed the 10KM which was my very first race. It was an amazing atmosphere, and I also achieved a great time, which I am so proud of. I will definitely do it again.’’