Triumph Over Terrain: Epic fourth edition of Himam Trail Run Race concludes

Sports Monday 27/November/2023 11:18 AM
By: Times News Service
Triumph Over Terrain: Epic fourth edition of Himam Trail Run Race concludes

Muscat: The fourth edition of Himam Trail Run Race, organised by the Al Dakhiliyah Governorate and with the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism as main supporter, concluded last weekend in spectacular style.

The closing ceremony, presided over by  Dr.Hilal Al Sabti, Minister of Health, in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Hilal Al Hajri, Governor of Al Dakhiliyah, and a number of notable officials, witnessed the crowning of the winners of the race categories that were organized over three days in Al Hamra, Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Nizwa and Izki, attracting more than 750 runners, male and female, from 62 countries, and two thousand participants of different ages in short community races.

Omani champion Hamdan Al Khatri came in first place in the 110 km Al Hajar ULTRA race, covering the entire distance in 16 hours and 55 minutes, followed by American athlete Jason Schlarb, who completed the distance in 17 hours and 23 minutes. In third place was the Iranian runner, Mohammad Reza Jelodar, who completed the race in 18 hours and 48 minutes.

In the female category, Moroccan Aziza El Amranywon first place, followed by German Isabel Martine Schüßler, and third was Dutch Kristina Skupien. In the 55 km races, the first places were entirely Omani, as Saleh Al Saidicame in first place, followed by Sami Al Saidiand third Amjad Al Jamoudi.

In the female category, first place went to British Eve Moore, second place to American Whitney Mickelsen, and third place to Danish Kristina Schou Madsen.

This annual sporting event aims not only to promote the sport of trail running locally and regionally but also to draw international professionals to the unique Omani terrain. The Himam Trail Run Race is distinctive in its traversal through four wilayats, offering runners a unique experience amid nature, historical landmarks, and the diverse topography of the Hajar Mountains.

The classic and challenging Al Hajar ULTRA 110 KM kicked off on the 23rd of November, starting in the picturesque town of Al Hamra. Runners embarked on a journey through the rugged beauty of Jabal Akhdar before descending into Birkat Al Mouz.

They navigated rocky paths, climbed steep inclines, and took in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape, ultimately gaining a total of 5700 meters in elevation. The technical Skyward Canyon 55KM, as well as the Scenic Sprint 20KM races, both began on the 24th of November in Izki and Birkat Al Mouz, respectively.

Runners were treated to an unforgettable experience as they navigated rocky paths, climbed steep inclines, and absorbed the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The 20KM distance offered a completely new trail designed to present runners with scenic views of authentic Omani landscapes.

A range of shorter distances was also offered to enable more community members to undertake the wonders of trail running with the Hilly Haven 10KM, Village Rush 5KM, Mini Marvels 4KM, and the Tiny Titans races (2KM and 1KM) taking place over the weekend. These trails were designed to cater to all levels of runners, from elite athletes to young enthusiasts.

In addition to the races, the event featured an exhibition appealing to sports enthusiasts, with various vendors, sports-related activities, and food options. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Bait ArRudaydah castle in Birkat Al Mouz, the exhibition ran from November 22nd to November 25th, coinciding with Oman's 53rd National Day holiday.

This exhibition provided an opportunity to engage with the community and visitors from within and outside Oman, enhancing the event's festive atmosphere.

The Himam Trail Run Race main races are accredited by the International Trail Running Association (ITRA). This inclusion allows competitors to earn internationally recognized points and improve their global rankings in trail running.

The race is supported by various organizations, including the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, the SMEs Development Authority,Royal Oman Police, Nizwa Municipality, Nizwa Sports Club, Royal Society for Radio Amateurs and Scouts and Guides.

Joining forces to enable success are notable companies such as ASYAD Group, Oman Airports, Petroleum Development Oman, Be’ah, Daleel Petroleum, Abraj Birkat Al Mouz, Golden Tulip Nizwa, Raha Supermarket and Al Safa Foods.

 This lineup of supporters reflect the significance and impact at multiple levels, from promoting tourism, healthy lifestyle and fitness to contributing economically to the region.