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Steel, Thompson and Farah kick off 2018 season in Qatar

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Thursday 11th January 2018
Tags  Gemma Steel   |   Chris Thompson   |   Mo Farah   |   Doha Half Marathon   |   Ooredoo Doha Marathon
Friday the 12th sees Gemma Steel and Chris Thompson run the Ooredoo Doha Half Marathon in some illustrious company, including Sir Mo Farah and a number of world and national record holders, world champions and Olympians.
Gemma Steel has been training in Doha since December 30th 2017 for the event. Last year, she won the Great Ireland Run, Great South Run, Virgin British 10K and came 6th at the Great North Run.
She says of the event: “I am delighted to be competing in the 2018 Ooredoo Doha Marathon. The half marathon event offers a great course, some quality competition and a fantastic location in which to train and race. The facilities are top class and the people of Qatar are very welcoming. The organisation has been great too. I shall run my heart out for you!”
Chris Thompson, who won the silver medal in the 10,000 metres at the 2010 European Athletics Championships in Barcelona behind Sir Mo Farah comments “Having never been to Doha I'm extremely excited to race and visit somewhere I've heard so many good things about. With the 2019 World Champs so close it'll be a great opportunity to get to know the place and feel at home so I'm ready for when the World Champs come round. I'm looking forward to racing hard and having a unique enjoyable visit.”
Other elites running in Doha include: 
Arne Gabius, German Marathon Record Holder, 18 time national champion, past European 10,000m Silver Medalist and Olympian
Bekir Karayel, leading Turkish middle and long-distance runner, specialising in the marathon, having competed in the 2012 and 2016 summer Olympics. 
Ryan Vail, 5-time All-American at Oklahoma State, he has finished in the top ten in the London Marathon, Berlin Marathon and New York City Marathon
Abdi Abirahman, Somali- born American long-distance runner and one of the world’s top distance runners. He is a four-time Olympian competing for the United States in the 10,000m and the marathon who in 2016 finished 3rd in the New York City Marathon
Michael Shelley, the 2014 Commonwealth Games Marathon Champion from Australia is one of the world’s premier major international championship runners. At the 2013 Olympics he finished 16th, off the back of a 2010 Commonwealth Games Silver medalist in the Marathon.
Sara Dossena, the reigning Italian 10,000m champion, she came 6th in the 2017 New York City Marathon. In addition to being a top road runner she has also held national championships in Cross Country Running, Triathlon and Duathlon.
Esma Aydemir, rising star of the Turkish middle distance and long-distance running, competing mostly in the 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m and marathon events. In 2017 she came second in the half marathon at the World University Games.
Allison Kieffer, top American distance runner and world record holder for the indoor marathon. In 2017, Kieffer placed 5th in 2:29:39 at the 2017 New York City Marathon and she is a past winner of the Miami Marathon.
The invitational elite half marathon is part of the Ooredoo Doha Marathon which includes a full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K events for adults and youth as well as 3K and 1K events for children. Over the past five years, the Ooredoo Doha Marathon has steadily grown to become the largest mass participation event in Qatar attracting runners from over 50 nationalities. In this upcoming 2018 edition. 2,400 participants from 83 nationalities are expected to take part.

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