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Posted: February 24, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: RAK Half Also World's Best 10-K?

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Last Friday's RAK Half-Marathon in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates produced more than just world-leading times, national records and personal bests for the standard 21.097 km half-marathon distance. By the end of the year, it may also stand as the world's best 10-K on the road, at least for men.

According to a timing report specially prepared for Race Results Weekly by the event organizers, eight men broke 28 minutes at the 10-K mark of the race, half of the 16 athletes who were clocked at under 29 minutes at that point. That's nearly double the number of sub-28's reported in the fastest results of any 10-K road race held in the world last year. The greatest number of sub-28's recorded at the finish line in 2008 was four at the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans.

Moreover, had the men simply stopped running at 10-K, their times would have occupied six of the top-ten 10-K finish times at all road races combined in the world last year. The first five men at that point --Patrick Makau, Wilson Kiprotich, Deribe Merga, Wilson Chebet, and Matthew Koech-- were all clocked at 27:42. That would have tied them for the fifth-fastest 10-K in the world last year as timed on the finish line.

Here are the top-10 10-K times from the RAK Half-Marathon:

 1. Patrick Makau	KEN	 27:42
 2. Wilson Kiprotich	KEN	 27:42
 3. Deriba Merga	ETH	 27:42
 4. Wilson Chebet	KEN	 27:42
 5. Matthew Koech	KEN	 27:42
 6. Joseph Maregu	KEN	 27:43
 7. Charles Munyeki	KEN	 27:45
 8. Abel Kirui	KEN	 27:59
 9. Tujuba Megersa	ETH	 28:14
10. David Mandago	KEN	 28:14

Statisticians disagree on the validity en route times. The IAAF accepts en route times for all-time lists and record consideration if the same standards for record-setting are met at the intermediate points as would be required on the finish line. Most national federations are in agreement with this position. However, the indepenent Association of Road Race Statisticians does not consider en route times for either all-time lists or records, citing too great a variability in intermediate point timing and course measurement.

It will be interesting to compare the 10-K results from the RAK half with next Sunday's World's Best 10-K in San Juan, Puerto Rico, widely regarded as the strongest winter 10-K road race in the world.

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