It was another marathon effort in this year’s RAK Half Marathon by HCT students, faculty and staff, in both the individual and the team events.
Overcast, windy conditions prevailed to help blow all of our competitors over the finish line outside Manar Mall to the cheers of family and friends.
For the first time, RAK Colleges entered 2 teams of students and the Colleges were, as always, well represented by 9 teams of staff/faculty members and several staff members from both colleges who ran individually.
One brave student runner, Obaid al Sharhan, who is a real role model for his fellow students, completed a very impressive run with a time of 1:47:56.
His fellow students who ran on the day as part of the relay teams were: Mohammed Yasser Al Nuaimi, Saif Salem Al Kaz, Sultan Mohamed Al Ahmed, Faisal Ebrahim and Majed Al Zaabi. Omar Al Tenaiji deserves a special mention for running two legs for two different teams!
The professional runners got the main race underway at just after 7am. The winner, clocking a very impressive time of 60:40 minutes was 17-year-old Dennis Kipruto Koech from Kenya; one of many Kenyans being very well looked after by Fatima Elmi, HR Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the Director.
Just behind the overall winner and representing HCT was Bob Cook who posted a very competitive time of 1:35:35.
Breaking the 2 hour barrier were also Jitendra Bahadur Shahi (an outstanding effort from the security man from the Men’s College), Steve Pellerine and Michael Gallagher.
Right on their tail was Kevin Lim (2:08:50); Kevin picked up the prize for closest predicted time.
From the Women’s College, Natalie Konzen lapped up the atmosphere with a fearless run. The crowd really got behind her as she headed down the home straight to smash the 3 hour mark (2:59:00). Quite an achievement as she was also buzzing around behind the scenes organizing all the HCT runners.
Finally, not forgetting marathon stalwart – Jeff Dowling, who “danced” over the finishing line in 2:18:34.
The relay turned out to provide a great morning of entertainment with HCT fielding 9 staff teams and 2 student teams. High praise must be given to the Running For Japan quartette led by Yuki Pellerine and containing Akiko Cleaver, Shiori Gallagher and Kate Quinlan, who won the team prize for being closest to in their predicted time (only 72 seconds out). The team was raising funds for the victims of the March 11, 2011 disaster in Japan. The current focus is to collect funds to decontaminate public kindergartens and day- care facilities in Minami-Souma city.
Recognition of their efforts are also due to staff members and families who helped out on the water stations along the route, so thank you Sue Fine, Barbara Cornett, Bonnie Milne, Carol Shamsabadi & family and Christine Jones and family.