Run­ners from 16 coun­tries to take part in Oman Desert Marathon

Times of Oman - - OMAN -

Times News Ser­vice

MUS­CAT: Ex­treme sports lovers from across the globe will de­scend on Oman when the sixth edi­tion of Oman Desert Marathon, the ul­ti­mate desert race on earth, re­turns to the Sul­tanate in Novem­ber this year.

The much looked for­ward to marathon is sched­uled to take place from Novem­ber 16 to 22.

Ac­cord­ing to the Oman Desert Marathon of­fi­cials, the 165km race has been grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity over the years and the 2018 edi­tion will at­tract 150 run­ners from 16 coun­tries, all of whom will be ea­gerly wait­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence a unique ad­ven­ture in the breath­tak­ing ter­rain of the Oman desert.

Start­ing from the wi­layat of Bidiyah in the North Shar­qiyah gov­er­norate, the race com­prises six stages of 28km, 20km, 27km, 28km, 42km and 23km and takes run­ners into the Shar­qiyah Sands with a va­ri­ety of land­scapes, and dunes to­wards the Ara­bian Sea.

Said Mo­hammed Al-Ha­jri, gen­eral su­per­vi­sor of the Oman Desert Marathon Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee, said, “The marathon is aimed at find­ing Oman on the in­ter­na­tional road map. This year, it has been adopted by the In­ter­na­tional High­land Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (ITRA) as a well-de­fined and qual­i­fied race for UTMB races with four points.”

Al Ha­jri added that the par­tic­i­pa­tion in­creased from year to year, es­pe­cially from out­side the Sul­tanate be­cause of the good and suc­cess­ful rep­u­ta­tion of the pre­vi­ous ver­sions.

“Such a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants could lead to the Sul­tanate host­ing the largest events in the com­ing years,” he added.

The marathon is cer­tainly dif­fer­ent from the rest of the marathons be­cause it will be fully in sand and not in­clude any rocky or moun­tain­ous heights. The tracks are de­signed to be 100 per cent of sand dunes.

“As soon as the con­tes­tants ar­rive in Oman, they will en­joy a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence and will have the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover Oman and its tra­di­tions,” he con­cluded.

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