Andrew Kwemoi of Uganda and Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba headline the elite men and women’s field at the fifth ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon on December 16.
Kwemoi, 23, will arrive on the back of his victory at the 21st Milano Marathon in a time of two hours, seven minutes and 14 seconds in his first try over the 42.195-kilometre distance. He also became the first Ugandan to win a World Athletics Label event.
Joining Kwemoi in the lineup is Kenyan Kiptum Barnabas, who took first place in both the 2019 Hong Kong Marathon and the Buenos Aires Marathon in 2017.
Barnabas’ compatriot, Leonard Barsoton, will also be competing in this year’s race, having set his own personal best of 2:09:06 in the Zurich Marato Barcelona in March.
Dibaba, the 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic champion and the 2017 Chicago Marathon winner, heads the elite women’s field.
She will be challenged by compatriot Hawi Feysa (2:23:38), and Maurine Chepkemoi from Kenya, the 2022 Enschede Marathon winner.
The event, organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, is set to draw an estimated 23,000 runners across various distances, including the marathon relay, 10km, 5km, and 2.5km races.
All races will commence at different locations near the ADNOC headquarters on Corniche Road and finish at the ADNOC Campus, near Bainuna Public Park.
Registration is free for People of Determination and Paralympics participants, underlining the organisers' continued commitment to inclusivity within the UAE.
This event is open to the community, including families and children, with applicants able to register for the following distances: marathon, marathon relay (teams of 2), 10km, 5km and 2.5km.
Suhail Al Arifi, executive director of the Events Sector at Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said they are thrilled to welcome the top international runners.
“The presence of well-known runners in this year’s line-up reaffirms Abu Dhabi's and the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon's success in gaining international recognition in long-distance running,” he said.
“We're delighted to invite people from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds to join us in celebrating physical fitness. Regardless of your fitness level, there's a distance tailored just for you. We encourage everyone to be part of this enriching sports day on the streets of Abu Dhabi, the global capital of sports.”
This year’s Marathon Village will once again be located at ADNOC headquarters and will be accessible from December 12 up until race day on December 16, from 3pm to 10pm.
The village will provide an immersive experience for visitors, with entertainment and a wide array of dining options. The race village is free to enter and open to all.
Participants who register for the race after November 30 can collect their race packs from the Marathon Village between December 12-15.