MUSCAT: Last year’s pioneering race attracted enormous international interest including many high-profile members of the global trail community, and immersed runners in the natural beauty of Oman’s dramatic interior taking them through deep wadis, high ridges, ancient villages and memorable landscapes in a unique Arabian environment. Winner of the 2018 edition, Jason Schlarb (US), who crossed the finish line jointly with Diego ‘Zpeedy’ Pazos (CH) described the event as “unbelievably challenging —technical and exciting all at once.”
“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 trail runners to come to Oman and take on a unique experience in an unforgettable landscape.”
The 50km race, which starts on November 29, is aimed at runners who are new to the sport or less experienced and 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 into Jabal Al Akhdhar (the Green Mountain) with more than 2,300m of elevation gain.
The 130 km and 170 km routes are only suitable for experienced trail runners with the new 170 km course ascending to a height of 3,000m on the formidable Jabal Shams, Arabia’s highest mountain. Runners will require an official International Trail Running Association (ITRA) ranking to qualify to participate in either distance. Both start on November 28 at Birkat Al Mouz.
Overall, runners will need four ITRA points to compete in the 130km run and five ITRA points to compete in the 170 km run. No ITRA points are required for the 50km run. “Last year was a resounding success and has put the Sultanate firmly on the international trail map,” said CEO of event
organiser Oman Sail, David Graham.
“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.”
Like all ITRA sanctioned trail running events, taking part in OMAN by UTMB® earns qualifying points towards entry for UTMB Chamonix. Runners who complete the 130km run will earn five ITRA points, runners completing the 170 km will earn six ITRA points and runners who finish the 50km run will earn three ITRA points.
A new qualifying system recently announced by UTMB® International means that runners who compete in either the 130 km or 170 km events are instantly guaranteed entry to race in Chamonix in 2020. OMAN by UTMB® is the first opportunity runners will have to benefit from the new qualifying regulations for UTMB® Chamonix.
OMAN by UTMB® will take ultra runners to new heights — Registration is now open https://omanbyutmb.com/enter/
Fazah Fort: Situated in the town of Liwa, Wilayat Liwa, Al Batinah Region, Fazah Fort dates back to many centuries and played