Oman’s landscape offers thrills to young athletes
Saturday 21/September/2019 20:26 PM
By: Times News Service
Muscat: Younger runners and beginners are invited to get a true taste of trail running with the launch of new beginner and youth distance courses at this year’s OMAN by UTMB trail running event.
Adult athletes will have the option of running 10km, 50km, 130km and 170 km routes, while youngsters starting at six years old can experience the adventure of trail running on courses of two to five kilometres. Starting and finishing in the OMAN by UTMB venue of Al Hamra surrounded by breath-taking views of the Sultanate’s mountainous interior, young runners will follow safe low-level routes through lush plantations and terraces.
In addition, a more challenging 10km course has also been newly added to the OMAN by UTMB itinerary for anyone above the age of 15 who would like to get a feel of the ultra-trail experience.
All the brand new events will be held on November 30, the final day of the second edition of the event.
“This is a golden, and not to be missed, opportunity for kids to explore Oman’s nature and appreciate its beauty,” said Ahmed Darweesh Al Balushi, Secretary General of the Oman Sports School Association.
“These new races will encourage kids to get active, have fun and appreciate the great outdoors.”
Schools across Oman are invited to register their students, and there is a prize of 500 OMR for the Most Active School which will go to the institution with the highest number of entries in the youth races.
University students are also encouraged to take part and take advantage of a 15 percent discount on all adult categories and an OMR 500 OMR prize also being awarded to the university with the most number of entries.
In detail, the 10km race (for those aged 15 years and up) has an elevation gain of 295m with an entry fee of 10 OMR, the 5km run for runners aged between 12 and 14 years has a 125m gain, and costs OMR 5 to enter, and the 2km run (9-11 years) which has a 34m gain costs just OMR 2 to enter.
The introduction of the youth races was warmly welcomed by Omani trail runner Hamdan Al Khatri, who was the first Omani runner to finish last year’s OMAN by UTMB and recently completed a race at the classic UTMB Chamonix event.
“Anything that encourages kids to take up this sport is a good thing and they will have a great time taking part,” he said.
“Oman is blessed with a fantastic variety of landscapes with the mountains at its heart – which is something that will give our youth an advantage at doing well at this sport!” he added.
The second edition of OMAN by UTMB begins on 28 November with the start of the original 130km race as well as a new extended 170km challenge. All finishers in these categories earn a guaranteed entry for UTMB 2020 in Chamonix.
Another new event, the 50km race, which is aimed at less experienced runners who are new to the sport, starts on November 29th. All these races can be entered at www.omanbyutmb.com/enter/