Ruth Chepngetich.

Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich is now the first Kenyan woman to win the Dubai Marathon since Delilah Asiago did so in 2006. Chepngetich has also set a new course record of 2:17:07 shattering Roza Dereje’s record (2:19:17) set in 2018.

She outclassed Ethiopian competitors finishing ahead of Worknesh Debele and Worknesh Gurmesa who came in second and third places in 2:17:40 and 2:21:00 respectively. Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla won the men’s race ahead of compatriot Herpassa Kitesa Negasa.

Chepng’etich went to Dubai confident after defending the Istanbul Marathon two months ago. It was the first time the 24-year-old was taking part in the race. Before the race, she had said she was looking forward to a good result but did not think she could break a record.

“I have only heard of the Dubai Marathon but it’s my first time here,” Chepng’etich said at the launch ceremony on Wednesday. “I am looking forward to a fast timing and good result.”

To the surprise of many, Chepngetich has never trained under a coach and does not intend to do so as training herself has proved to be rewarding. She trains in the hilly terrain of Ngong which made it easier for her to navigate Dubai’s flat course.

“I didn’t have a coach. It was basically my friends from whom I learnt a lot on the art of running,” she said. “I liked running, running and running. It came naturally to me. I trained because I loved running.”

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