Muscat: Registrations for the 2020 edition of Al Mouj Muscat Marathon opened on Wednesday, organisers announced at a press conference in the capital.
The next edition of the Sultanate’s two-day festival of running will take place on the weekend of January 17 and 18, 2020, and aims to grow the appeal to international runners and get more Omani youth active.
Under the slogan #RunWithUs, the national campaign comes in light of the rising levels of diabetes, obesity and hypertension in Oman. Seven top athletes from a variety of sport disciplines have joined forces as inspirational ambassadors for the event to highlight this mission including Oman’s top goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, sports car racing driver Ahmad Al Harthi, Olympic show jumper Sultan Al Touqi, sprinter Barakat Al Harthi, tennis player Fatma Al Nabhani, and sailor and Olympic hopeful Musab Al Hadi.
In addition to that, world record holder and British runner Paula Radcliffe will act as role model to add to the collaborative effort by the event organisers, Oman Sail, and supporters to encourage a larger segment of the youth to get active.
Speaking about the new campaign, Younis Al Siyabi, Chairman of the Oman Athletics Association (OAA), said: “We are proud to add our support to the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon and its important goal of encouraging people in Oman to become more active. It is completely in step with our goals and objectives and we applaud its central role in next year’s event.
“At the heart of the OAA is the mission to promote sport and athletics across the Sultanate, and the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon has a very important role to play in that endeavour.”
January 17, 2020, the opening day of the event, will feature the main marathon race along with the half-marathon and 10km races. However, January 18, 2020, will feature the popular 5km Run and the Kids’ Run. All events will be hosted around Al Mouj Muscat, which will again provide a striking background for the range of athletic endeavours.
Nasser Al Sheibani, CEO of Al Mouj Muscat, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be the title sponsor of this remarkable event for another year. The Muscat Marathon is a great match for our ambitions at Al Mouj Muscat to promote a healthy lifestyle for our multi-national residents and many visitors. It has become a great spectacle which has been embraced by the community as a whole.”
David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail said: “We have been delighted to see the tremendous growth of the event over the past three years which has been a result of the dedicated work of many entities around Oman and the generous support of our commercial partners, Al Mouj Muscat and Port Sohar.”
The 42.195 km marathon and subsidiary events are all certified by world-running organisation AIMS to conform to International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) standards and offer great variety for runners. “The mix of events and distances has proved a great success and very popular with runners of all ages and abilities,” said Ahmed Al Malki, Chairman of the Muscat Road Runners, who organised the first Muscat Marathon in 2012.
“We have been delighted to see the tremendous growth of the event over the past three years, in large part due to the organisational expertise of Oman Sail, the dedicated work by more than 170 volunteers and the generous support of Al Mouj Muscat,” Al Malki said.