18-12-2019 - News
Muscat, 18th December 2019 – The 2020 Ultra-Trail® World Tour will end in the heart of Oman’s incredible and unique mountainous interior, with the third edition of OMAN BY UTMB® set for 3-5 December. This will be the first time the event is included in the Ultra-Trail® World Tour, the most iconic and prestigious ultra-endurance trail running races around the world, since its inception in 2014.
This year almost 2,000 people from 74 countries took part in OMAN by UTMB®, which is the only event of its kind in the Middle East. The exquisite trails go through date palm filled oases and abandoned ancient villages, with runners to experience breath-taking views as they summit mountain tops thousands of metres above sea level. From start to finish, competitors will feel the warmth of the famous Omani hospitality.
Two new exciting and more accessible distances have been introduced for the 2020 event, with 100KM and 150KM courses to join the 50KM and family-friendly shorter races. All finishers of the 100KM and 150KM events will be able to collect ‘Running Stones’ (18 for the 150KM and 15 for the 100KM) for a fast-tracked entry to the UTMB® 2021 in Chamonix. Registrations for the 50KM, 100KM, and 150KM will open on January 6 2020.
The allure of Oman’s culture and history will surround the start of the 100KM and 150KM at the 17th century fort in Birkat Al Mouz, the gateway to the majestic Al Hajar Mountain range. Both routes will follow a course up Oman’s iconic mountain Jebel Al Akhdar (The Green Mountain). Farmers have lived on this limestone peak for centuries, producing rose water, pomegranates, and walnuts, and the deep gorges and craggy ridges will provide an exciting challenge for runners. After crossing Jebel Hatt, the two courses will split, with those taking part in the 150KM to face a third peak: the 3,000m Jebel Shams, one of the highest peaks on the Arabian Peninsula. The finish line for both the 100KM and 150KM awaits in the ancient village of Al Hamra, which will also be the start and finish venue for the 50KM.
Frenchman Julien Chorier, who placed second in the 130KM this year, said: “The welcome in Al Hamra is amazing. Throughout the day and night, the locals cheered on the weary but triumphant runners as we crossed the finish line. OMAN by UTMB® is something I will never forget.”
Marie Sammons, Executive Director of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour said: “We are very excited to welcome Oman by UTMB as part of the 2020 UTWT as the sole event in the Middle East of next year’s global tour. Oman by UTMB brings a rare beauty of the landscape, the legendary Omani hospitality as well as spectacular and technical courses”.
OMAN by UTMB® was born in 2018 as a result of a partnership between UTMB® and Oman Sail. Oman Sail CEO David Graham said: “Oman has fully embraced this event, and it’s quickly becoming iconic due to the unique beauty of the country, coupled with the world-renowned generosity and warmth of Oman’s hospitality.”
Pre-registration is already open on the OMAN by UTMB® website and keep an eye on the official social media channels for all the latest news and updates.