RAS AL-KHAIMAH, February 21 – Kenyan Patrick Makau successfully defended his RAK Half Marathon title on Friday, beating compatriot Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich by seven seconds.
Makau won the 13.1-mile race in 58 minutes, 52 seconds.
Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga finished third, 19 seconds behind Kiprotich.
"It was a good run," Makau said. "I think the conditions were perfect and I am really very happy with the result."
Makau was third at the halfway mark but picked up the pace in the last quarter of the race to break away from the pack.
His time was a course record and just 19 seconds outside the half marathon world record of 58:33 set by Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya in 2007.
"I was ready to run a good time and the pace we maintained throughout the race was good and it kept getting higher," Makau said. "The rest of the guys, mainly Deriba, kept pushing and challenging, but I was determined to hold them off and I’m glad with the way I defended the title."
Makau will now return to Kenya to train for the Rotterdam Marathon in April.
"This was a tough race and I will practice in Kenya before heading to Rotterdam," Makau said.
Ethiopia’s Dire Tune won the women’s event in a time of 1:07:18. Aselefech Mergia finished second, 30 seconds behind Tune and Kenya’s Philes Ongori finished third.
Last year’s winner, Salina Kosgei, came in seventh.