Ethiopian distance running sensation and 2nd fastest women of all time (64 min 46 seconds), Yalemzerf Yehualaw has confirmed that the Antrim Coast Half Marathon will be one of only 4 events she will race in 2021, and first after the Tokyo Olympics.
The athlete’s agent, confirmed Yehualaw will be making a serious attempt at the current Women’s World record (currently 64 min 31 sec) on the Antrim Coast , and after watching last year’s race believe the fast course along with the amazing atmosphere will help get the best out of the 21 year old.
Yehualaw’s Dutch Manager, Daan Van Den Berg told the Race organisers, ‘Yalemzerf will only do 2 Half Marathon’s this year, Istanbul and the Antrim Coast Half along with 2x 10,000metres before the Olympic Games. The Antrim Coast coming 3 weeks after the Olympics is perfect timing and we know if the Irish crowd get behind her she can break the world record as last year’s race looked brilliant, with 35 out of 62 runners recording personal bests.
Yalemzerf Yehualaw finished 3rd at last year’s World Championship after leading for most of the race before tripping on the finishing straight mat.
Yehualaw will be joined by Ethiopian team-mates Yitasyish Mekonnen and Tsehay Gemechu at this year’s event. Gemechu a 2 x time winner and course record holder at the prestigious New Delhi Half Marathon has a personal best from 2020 of 66 min 0 sec, as well as finishing 4th at the 2019 World Championships over 10,000metres and 6th at the World Cross country championships.
Gemechu, went on to break distance legend Tirunesh Dibaba’s Ethiopian 10km road record last year with a hugely impressive 30 min 15 seconds. The African stars will be joined by early confirmed British Internationals, Jo Pavey, Sam Harrison, Tracy Barlow and Kirsty Longley.
MEN’S RACE TARGETING FIRST EVER SUB 60 MINUTE HALF- MARATHON IN IRELAND
With nearly 30 elite men confirmed in the A& B races and still over 5 months out, the men’s race will be one of the greatest Half-marathon fields ever assembled in the UK or Ireland.
The race organisers have made no secret of attacking the 60 minute barrier and already have a strong International line up, with 4 sub 60 minute runners already confirmed.
Making their first appearance ever in Ireland will be the African quartet of Tesfahun Akalnew from Ethiopia (59:22) Victor Kiplangat from Uganda (59:26 ), Abrar Osman from Eritrea (59:47) and up and coming Kenyan Daniel Mateiko (Kenyan World Cross-country 10km team 2021), all of whom will be attacking Sir Mo Farah’s course record of 60.27.
Last year’s 2nd place, and 2 x time European record holder Marc Scott is one of the early confirmed entries. Fresh off the back of his stunning 10,000 m run last month in Los Angeles, recording a time of 27:10 which places him 2nd in the UK all-time list, Marc will be trying to go one place better at this year’s race. Also returning will be GB Olympian and Berlin marathon 5th placer Scott Overall. Race organisers are also delighted to confirm Belfast native and Irish Olympian Paul Pollock will be taking to the start this year.
With over 5 months still to go the event have confirmed there will be major announcements to follow closer to the August race date.
Race organisers would like to also confirm that the mass entry is open and available to enter with the added option of insuring your entry for peace of mind.