28-11-2019 - News

Global field to take part in second edition of Oman by UTMB®

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Runners of all ages and from across the globe are arriving in Oman to take part in one of the world’s most unique mountain experiences, the 2019 OMAN by UTMB®. Almost 2,000 runners from all over the world will take centre stage later this week as OMAN by UTMB® returns to the magnificent setting of Oman’s Al Hajar mountain range.

Aged from 87 to just 6 years of age, the competitors will fly the flag for 69 different countries when they take on a range of challenges, from the elite and sold-out 170KM to the 2KM race, which will see hundreds of children get their first taste of trail running.

Due to the success of the first OMAN by UTMB® in 2018, five additional routes were added for 2019, attracting a mixture of world-class elite athletes, running enthusiasts, and those wanting to try trail running for the first time.

The extraordinary 130KM mountain course at the heart of the inaugural event is now joined by a challenging 170KM route. Both events are only open to experienced trail runners with the new 170KM course ascending to a height of 3,000m on the formidable Jebel Shams, Arabia’s highest mountain.

The 2019 OMAN by UTMB® will officially kick off with the 170KM, which will begin at 1300, local time, on Thursday 28 November, while the start gun will sound for the 130KM runners at 1930. Both events will get underway at Bayt Al Rudaydah, a mudbrick fort in Birkat Al Mouz, at the mouth of the Al Hajar Mountains range.

Over the next few days, runners will test not only their physical endurance but also their mental toughness, as they take on the heights of iconic Jebel Al Akhdar – the Green Mountain – run through ancient, deserted villages such as Wadi Bani Habib, navigate stunning ridges and plateau edges at Sharaf Al Alamayn, before finally descending into the spectacular mountain village of Misfat Al Abriyyin and on to the finish.

The 170KM and 130KM will both finish at one of Oman’s oldest villages, Al Hamra, with the youth and beginner races to be centred around this historic hub on Friday and Saturday.

Among those taking on the ultimate challenge of the 170KM is the Co-Founder of UTMB® itself, Michel Poletti.

He said: “I am delighted to be returning to Oman for the second OMAN by UTMB® here in the majestic Al Hajar mountains.

“Here in Oman, the race really is an unforgettable experience for every athlete. It is a race for those seeking adventure, and a technical and demanding course in an incredible mountainous environment that they can’t experience anywhere else. I look forward to experiencing the 170KM course myself when the event gets underway on Thursday!”

As well as creating sustainable trails that can be enjoyed long term by local communities, particular focus was also given in attracting Omanis to the event. 52 per cent of the competitors hail from Oman, including Nadhirah Alharthy, who made history earlier this year as the first female Omani to summit Everest.

Nadhirah said: “I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the second edition of OMAN by UTMB®.

“After becoming the first Omani woman to summit Everest earlier this year, it feels good to be coming home to test myself in the mountains I know so well. It’s not going to be easy but I can’t wait to get started and for runners all over the world to see how special Oman is.”

The 170KM and 130KM will both finish at one of Oman’s oldest villages, Al Hamra, with the youth and beginner races to be centred around this historic hub on Friday and Saturday.

OMAN by UTMB® is organised by Oman Sail, and CEO David Graham said: “Last year’s event was such a great success and we’re looking forward to welcoming many more runners to experience Oman’s stunning mountains.

“The atmosphere around the whole event is entirely inspiring and does a great job in opening up the wonders of Oman to the many visiting athletes. I have no doubt that runners will have a great experience in a unique and authentic environment complemented with legendary Omani hospitality.”

OMAN by UTMB® is proud to work alongside Alila Jabal Akhdar, a five start retreat atop the Al Hajar Mountains, 2,000m above sea level, as the official hotel partner and presenter of the 130KM race.

OMAN by UTMB® has also partnered with Be’ah, a company dedicated to conserving the environment of our beautiful Oman for future generations.

Also providing valuable assistance are Official Supporters Europcar, Garmin, Bahwan Projects & Telecoms LLC, Oman’s favourite water brand Oman Oasis, and the ABQ Education Group.

For more information about OMAN by UTMB®, please see the website. You can also follow the progress of the runners on the official social media channels

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