Defending champions Kipyego and Kiplagat confirmed for Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon

Kenyan runners hold course record timings in men and women’s categories

Kenya's Rueben Kipyego and Vivian Kiplagat will both be back to defend their men's and women’s Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon titles on November 26, organisers announced on Wednesday.

Kipyego, ranked 20th in the world, holds the men’s course record of two hours, three minutes and 55 seconds while Kiplagat holds the women’s record 2:22:11, both achieved in 2019. The marathon was postponed last year because of the pandemic.

Joining them is Abel Kirui, whose personal best of 2:05:04 makes him a serious contender in Abu Dhabi. He won both the 2009 Berlin Marathon and 2011 Daegu Marathon and was placed fourth in 2018’s London Marathon.

Kiplagat won the 2019 Milano and 2018 Buenos Aires marathons, and will be out to better her personal best in Abu Dhabi.

Challenging her is Ethiopian Alemu Megertu, who is currently ranked 40th in the world with a personal best time of 2:21:10.

“As we return for our much-anticipated third edition, this year’s elite level line-up will see some of the world’s best male and female runners heading to Abu Dhabi to compete for the top prize,” Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said.

“With two Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon champions returning in 2021 to defend their titles, we can look ahead to an incredible display of competition and talent, further enhancing the event’s global reputation as one of the most prestigious races to participate at.

“We are delighted that they have chosen our wonderful city and this fantastic event, and we look forward to welcoming them to the start line in Abu Dhabi.”

Also, from November 22-25, a vibrant race village at the Adnoc headquarters campus will welcome participants and supporters with photo opportunities, family entertainment and a dedicated race pack collection area.

For more information and to register for the 2021 Adnoc Abu Dhabi Marathon, visit

Updated: November 10th 2021, 12:32 PM