The short, familiar name is “RAK Half” – the Half Marathon of Ras al-Khaimah, one of the seven United Arab Emirates. “RAK Half” is quicker, and quick is the name of the game in this IAAF road race, first held in 2007, which has delivered consistent thrills over the past eleven editions, and smashed several world records – the latest on February 10th, 2017, in the women’s race, when a 23-year-old Kenyan assisted by Human Tecar, Peres Jepchirchir, finished in an amazing 65 minutes and 6 seconds (i.e. 1:05:06) – all the more incredible since Peres suffered a severe, 2-month bout of pneumonia in October and November last year.
And there’s more: very few seconds behind her was a compatriot whose example first inspired Jepchirchir – Mary Keitany, 35 and a mother of two, also a longtime beneficiary of Human Tecar treatment. Despite the fact that Keitany took a whole year off from training with each pregnancy, she has managed not only to win the RAK Half three times (setting a world record there in 2011, when she’d already had her first child), but to win the latest three NYC Marathons in a row and garner a whopping fifteen gold medals in her career to date… Not to mention the fact that her time of 1:05:13 was the fastest ever for second place, and her own new personal best.
It was a time for celebration for Mary and Peres’ manager, Gianni Demadonna, as for Adidas, their sponsor, committed to giving athletes the best possible tools, and naturally for Mario Scerri, founder of Human Tecar, who’s been advocating the crucial role of Human Tecar’s physiotherapeutic support in preparing athletes who are under pressure because of their tight racing schedules, and in flanking them before and after each training session. “We can now safely declare that all the time and effort devoted to athletes like Keitany e Jepchirchir, together with Professor Tranquilli, really does make a difference,” Scerri confides with a smile.
(He also tells us that not far from the golden sands and ever-sunny skies of Ras al-Khaimah, just outside the capital, is the UAE’s highest mountain, Jebel Jais, a favorite destination for the most adventurous tourists. It wouldn’t surprise us that much if we heard that Peres and Mary decided to take a look for themselves there one day; well prepared by a few weeks’ proprioceptive exercises on our Human Tecar Mats…)