Before the spring marathon season gets into high gear, a number of stars will be tuning up in half marathons over the next several weeks. These events run the gamut from stacked, ultra-competitive fields to glorified solo training runs. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Feb. 15: Geoffrey Mutai headlines a deep field of 10 sub-60:00 half marathoners at The RAK Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates. Emmanuel Mutai, the London Marathon course record holder, is also in that group, as is Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lelisa who finished second in Chicago last year and is not to be confused with countryman Lelisa Desisa, who just won in Dubai.
- Feb. 24: Mo Farah is entered in the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon. The double Olympic champ at 5,000 and 10,000 meters may move to the marathon in a few years. He aced his only other half to date, winning the 2011 NYC Half in 1:00:23 over Galen Rupp and Gebre Gebremariam.
- March 10: Marathon world record holder Patrick Makau (2:03:38 in Berlin, 2011) will get in a scenic run at the Hapalua Half Marathon in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. Just a suggestion, but if Makau wants to run in more exotic locales, why not try Macau?
- March 18: The NYC Half field includes Meb Keflezighi, Dathan Ritzenhein and Kara Goucher, and the international field has yet to be announced. Meb and Goucher are in the field for the Boston Marathon a month later. Desi Davila is also in the NYC Half field, but since she recently pulled out of Boston with an injury, it would be a surprise to see her run NYC.