By Richard Slater
RIYADH — Thomas Brackmann kicked off 2017 in style by winning the Riyadh Road Runners’ first race of 2017. He triumphed over 8km at Ishbilia compound, taking advantage of the cool winter temperatures to win the race in an excellent time of 32:21.
In the female race, Dobrawa Skupniewicz extended her unbeaten streak to two races with a comfortable victory over her nearest rivals.
The male race was an exciting and closely contested affair, with Abdulaziz Alhumaid taking an early lead and forcing the pace early on. Brackmann stayed close to him, and at the midway point was a mere 2 seconds behind. At the 5km mark, Brackmann made a decisive move and took over the lead from Alhumaid. However the race was not over, as Alhumaid kept Brackmann within touching distance as they entered the final few bends. With only 100m to go, it appeared that Brackmann had the race sewn up, however a late surge by Alhumaid meant that Brackmann had to sprint to the line to guarantee the victory, the margin of which was only 6 seconds. In third place was Abdulmajeed Almuayquil, who looks to be getting back to full fitness as the European triathlon season draws ever nearer. Alhumaid should be congratulated for a first ever podium place, and will no doubt return even more determined to win next time around.
In the female race, Skupniewicz ran a controlled race to clinch victory by a wide margin over her competitors, running an excellent negative split to finish in 35:30. Behind her was Anne Morrissey, who carried her high level of triathlon fitness into 2017. In third place was Nelly Attar, a first podium finish for the RRR committee member who only started running seriously in 2015. Nelly will head to Dubai next week confident of a fast 10km time.
The club would like to thank Ishbilia compound for the use of their venue, as well as Carrefour Tala Mall for providing food and water. The focus for the RRR now turns to the marathon build up, as the annual marathon is only a month away!
Male — 1. Thomas Brackmann (DEU) 32:21, 2. Abdulaziz Alhumaid (KSA) 32:27, 3. Abdulmajeed Almuayquil (KSA) 33:50.
Female — 1. Dobrawa Skupniewicz (POL) 35:30, 2. Anne Morrissey (IRE) 38:05, 3. Nelly Attar (LEB) 41:50.