5,000 runners for Al Mouj Muscat Marathon

Energy Monday 24/July/2017 20:35 PM
By: Times News Service
5,000 runners for Al Mouj Muscat Marathon

Muscat: More than 5,000 runners are expected to arrive in to take part in the 2018 Al Mouj Marathon, which is scheduled for the 18th and 19th of January next year.

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This is an ambitious step up from the 1,290 enthusiasts, who descended on the nation’s capital last year, but David Graham, chief executive officer (CEO) of Oman Sail, is confident that the three-way partnership with Muscat Road Runners and Al Mouj will pay off.
“This edition of the Al Mouj Marathon will be the largest and most comprehensive,” he said.
“We would like to convey our deepest appreciation to you all, as you’ve helped with our initiative and tenacity. The first year of our three way partnership was last year. 2018 is set to be our biggest year. We’re personally focusing on individual development, tourism and contributing towards the national economy.”
“Sports tourism is a big part of the country’s Tanfeedh plans for economic diversification,” Graham added. “Mass participation in sporting events helps businesses, local merchants and hotels, who welcome participants and their families for a holiday. Also, it has been proved that this social demographic has a higher spending (capacity) so with one racer you have about five tourists coming in.”
“We plan to develop Oman as a world-class sports tourism destination,” he added. The 2018 edition of the Al Mouj Marathon is expected to be its largest so far.
In addition to the 42 kilometre-marathon and a 21 kilometre-half marathon, as well as the 10 kilometre run, a children run and marathon relay are also expected to be pencilled in for the first time. A charity run is also in the works.
“Every aspect we promote is to develop components of an active lifestyle,” said Nasser Al Sheibani, CEO of Al Mouj. “This marathon is a natural extension of what we offer. 2017 saw the Sultanate of Oman establish itself as a running destination. Talent from Oman and across the world compete in this running festival.”
“The athletes get to be themselves in beautiful surroundings of our country,” he added. “This promotes a healthy lifestyle and tourism, and encourages Omanis to take up the sport, also aiding in the delivery of long term benefits to the economy.”
A big push towards participants will come from the Muscat Road Runners, who helped double competitor numbers this year.
“Across all of the international running events, we received a 90 per cent rating last time; it’s hard to get that if you don’t deliver quality and we hope to get that this time as well,” revealed Ahmed Al Malki, chairman of Muscat Road Runners.
“Muscat Road Runners has more than 100 members at present and we are delighted to see the numbers growing as we look forward to welcoming a growing numbers of foreign and local participants next year,” he added
“Of course, it’s not just about getting runners in, but about preparing them accordingly for the race, and ensuring that they recover well afterwards,” said Oman Sail’s Graham. “We have good ties with the schools in the area, so we will be inviting them to take part in our kids run, while we will be turning to companies to send in relay runners for the marathon as well.”