Muscat: With more than 1,200 runners to take part in the Muscat Marathon on January 27, the number of participants is set to double next year.
Organisers say the event is aimed at raising awareness on fitness and health. “In order to have a healthy lifestyle, people should take part in Muscat Marathon,” Chairman of Muscat Road Runners (MMR) Ahmed Al Malki told the Times of Oman on Monday.
In addition to the conventional 42 km marathon, the Muscat Marathon will feature 21 km half-marathon, and a 10 km run. “Anyone above 16 years of age can take part in this run,” Ahmed said.
The marathon will begin from, and end at Al Mouj Muscat. “The final route is yet to be finalised,” he said. The Muscat Marathon has grown steadily in popularity over the years.
In January 2016, around 600 runners took to the roads in Muscat that showcased the city’s most striking locations. “But this year, we are expecting around 1,200 people, and about 700 have already registered with us for Marathon 2017,” Al Malki said.
This year, Muscat Road Runners, the event’s organisers, have joined hands with Oman Sail and Al Mouj Muscat.
The organisers said that they look forward to seeing the marathon develop significantly in the next few years. Doctors said that people should exercise regularly for at least one hour a day to stay fit. “This should also include physical exercises and eating the right food,” a medical specialist in Oman said. Some of the participants have been training for months in order to be fit and ready to complete the race. “Spectators are welcome to cheer the runners and there are many scenic spots for families to relax and watch the fun on the route,” they said.
The marathon starts at 6am, the half-marathon at 7am, and the 10km run at 8am, so there will be plenty of runners to view on the course during the race.
Formed in 1983, the Muscat Road Runners, with approximately 80 members, is a multinational group of keen enthusiasts that has grown and flourished over the decades.
Up to 45 people of all abilities regularly participate in each of the group’s three weekly runs. Its volunteers host a number of races in the city throughout the year, the highlight of which is the Muscat Marathon.
“We have been doing so since October 1983 and, while few remember those early days, the spirit of the group has grown and flourished. We welcome all runners,” Al Malki added.