09-10-2019 - News
Anticipation is growing ahead of the second edition of OMAN by UTMB® which will set off into the majestic heights of Oman’s mountainous interior at the end of November.
With memories of last year’s inaugural event still vivid – not least the sight of star trail runners Jason Schlarb and Diego ‘Zpeedy’ Pazos crossing the finish line arm in arm as joint winners – the 2019 iteration has been expanded to appeal to an even wider audience of international and regional runners.
Last year’s pioneering race attracted enormous international interest with many high-profile members of the global ultra-trail community among the 327 runners from 57 countries.
The extraordinary 130KM mountain course at the heart of the 2018 event immersed runners in the natural beauty of Oman’s dramatic interior with deep wadis, high ridges, ancient villages and memorable landscapes in a unique Arabian environment.
The 130KM route of course remains. And demonstrating that you can’t have too much of a good thing, the new challenging 170KM race has already sold out.
Also new is an entry level course, which is proving popular with international and regional trail runners. The 50KM race, which starts on November 29, is aimed at runners who are new to the sport or less experienced who would like to take on the challenge of a tough but fair short ultra-run with limited technical sections to navigate. It will start and finish in Al Hamra, taking the participants onto Jabal Al Akhdar – the Green Mountain – with an elevation gain of more than 2,300m.
At the same time – and aimed at the next generation of trail runners – three further new and shorter races of 10, 5 and 2KM in length offer a taste of the great outdoors for children and young people, as well as adults.
“I described the 2018 course in Oman as ‘tough but wonderful’ and that view was shared by many of those taking part – OMAN by UTMB® has instantly established itself as a valued member of the international UTMB family,” said Michel Poletti co-director of the UTMB®.
“The new courses will dramatically increase the appeal of OMAN by UTMB® to both experienced and novice runners. I believe they will encourage many more ultra-trail runners to come to Oman and take on a unique experience in an unforgettable landscape.”
Runners will need four ITRA points to compete in the 130KM run and five for the 170KM course. No ITRA points are required for the 50KM run or other shorter routes.
And by way of reminder, as with all ITRA sanctioned trail events, taking part in OMAN by UTMB®earns qualifying points towards entry for UTMB®Mont-Blanc. Runners who complete the 130KM run will earn five ITRA points, the 170KM earns six and runners who finish the 50KM run will earn three.
A new qualifying system announced by UTMB®International means that runners who complete in either the 130KM or the fully-subscribed 170KM events are guaranteed entry to UTMB®Mont-Blanc in 2020. OMAN by UTMB®is the first opportunity runners have to benefit from the new regulations for UTMB®Mont-Blanc.
“Last year was a resounding success and has put the Sultanate firmly on the international trail running map,” said David Graham, CEO of event organiser Oman Sail.
“The additional distances will make the event even more appealing and we look forward to welcoming many runners from far and wide in November. It is an inspiring event that helps spread the word that Oman has a great deal to offer sports tourists and adventure seekers.”
Register today for OMAN by UTMB® 2019 by visiting https://omanbyutmb.com/enter/.