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Ethiopia’s Ayele Abshero Adds To Loaded Field At Dubai Marathon

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The 2016 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday is set to be the city’s biggest yet with as many as 30,000 runners expected to take part in the first high-profile race of this, Olympic year, season.

The biggest mass participation sporting event in the Middle East will see the 42-kilometre marathon start at 6.30am, while the 10km road race will start at 9am. The 4km fun run will start at 11am.

While the marathon and 10km road race will start on Umm Suqeim Road opposite Madinat Jumeirah in the shadow of Burj Al Arab, the 4km fun run will start on Al Wasl Road. All distances will finish on Umm Suqeim road before the Dubai Police Academy and Al Wasl Road junction.

The men’s field has been boosted by the return of Ethiopia’s Ayele Abshero to the scene of his greatest triumph, where as a 21-year-old marathon rookie, he overcame an experienced field by clocking a stunning time of 2 hours, 4 minutes, 23 seconds to win the 2012 Dubai Marathon on his debut.

It marked a course record for the IAAF Gold Label race, the fastest marathon debut ever and, at the time, the fourth fastest marathon time in history.

“Ayele Abshero’s victory and course record was a highlight in what was an amazing year for the Dubai Marathon in 2012,” event director Peter Connerton said.

Ethiopia's Ayele Abshero waves his national flag after winning the men's Dubai Marathon in the Gulf emirate on January 27, 2012 (PHOTO: AFP / STR / AFP / STR)

Ayele Abshero waves his national flag after winning the men’s Dubai Marathon 2012