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Expo 2020 Dubai: Olympic athletes to join 10,000 participants for Expo run

Published: Updated:

Runners in the United Arab Emirates will be standing shoulder to shoulder with top Olympic athletes at Expo 2020 Dubai this weekend at the first-ever Expo Run.

The Expo Run – taking place on Friday, November 19 - is a one-off, sold-out event, with routes of 3km, 5km, and 10km, that will take participants on a tour of the vast Expo site.

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Runners will stride past Country Pavilions, the Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity Districts, and the al-Wasl dome at the center of the Expo site.

A highlight of this year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge, around 10,000 runners are expected to take part, including top Kenyan athletes Ferdinand Omanyala Omurwa, Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei, Ezekiel Kemboi Cheboi, Priscah Jeptoo, Bethwell Biwott Yegon, Hellen Nzembi Musyoka, and Jonathan Kiplimo Maiyo.

Beginning – fittingly – at the Kenya Pavilion, the race starts at 7am.

Sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala Omurwa recently took part in the Tokyo Olympics and followed it up with a performance in Nairobi in September, where his 100m time of 9.77 seconds made him the current African record holder and the eighth fastest man of all time.

The other athletes specialize in longer distances. Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei, nicknamed the Eldoret Express, won a gold medal in the 800m at the 2007 World Championships, and silver at the 2008 Olympics.

Ezekiel Kemboi Cheboi is a familiar name in the 3,000m steeplechase, which he won at the 2004 and 2012 Olympics, and the 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 World Championships, and is still the sixth fastest runner in this category of all time.

Priscah Jeptoo, Bethwell Biwott Yegon, Hellen Nzembi Musyoka, and Jonathan Kiplimo Maiyo usually focus on the longest races, including marathons, winning in such cities as New York, Paris, London, and Berlin.

For Maiyo, Dubai may bring back fond memories, as he finished fourth in the marathon in the emirate in 2012, and remains in the top-10-fastest times for the race.

All runners receive free entry to Expo 2020 on run day, a custom-made race T-shirt, medal, and goodie bag, as well as a timing chip and a downloadable certificate.

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