|The 2019 OMAN by UTMB® has officially begun, with almost 2,000 people from 69 countries to compete in a range of events in the Al Hajar Mountain range from 28-30 November. Hundreds of runners from all over the world have begun one of the biggest endurance tests around, the 2019 OMAN by UTMB®.|
The epic 170KM and 130KM routes – two of six events planned for the second edition of OMAN by UTMB® – were the first to begin at the foot of Oman’s dramatic Al Hajar Mountain range.
Over the next 48 to 72 hours, the 332 runners from more than 50 countries taking part in the 170 and 130KM will see a part of Oman that few get to see as they summit exposed ridges, navigate date palm filled wadis and abandoned ancient villages, and climb thousands of metres above sea level.
Anticipation grew ahead of the early afternoon start of the new and sold-out 170KM race, as the field of experienced international and local Omani runners gathered in the shadow of the 17th century Bayt Al Rudaydah mudbrick fort in Birkat Al Mouz.
After the noise and excitement of the start, the 92 athletes settled into their stride, enjoying the mild and near perfect running conditions and exchanging high-fives with the hundreds of children who had lined the route out of town.
A few hours later, after the setting sun had turned the sky into a riot of colour, there were similar scenes as 240 more runners began the equally daunting challenge of the 130KM course.
Both the 130KM and 170KM races will see the runners ascend Oman’s iconic Jebel Akhdar, the Green Mountain, and a steep climb in the deserted village of Wadi Bani Habi, while the 170KM event will also include the challenge of climbing one of the highest points on the Arabian Peninsula – the 3,000m Jebel Shams.
The finish will be in the ancient village of Al Hamra, the setting of the other four events that make up the 2019 OMAN by UTMB® – the 50KM, 10KM, 5KM, and 2KM. The 50KM will begin early on Friday 29 November, while the other three events, which are aimed at newcomers to trail running and children, will be held on Saturday.
In total, almost 2,000 runners from 69 different countries will take part in the 2019 OMAN by UTMB®, with an incredible age range from just 6 to 87 years old. The event is organised by Oman Sail, an Omran company, and CEO David Graham said: “What a wonderful start to this event. I wish all the runners, both in the 170 and 130KM, all the best.
“The event has grown from just one race in 2018 to six and it has been incredible to see so many different nationalities coming together to celebrate their love of trail running. I can’t wait to see what they all achieve over the coming days.”
For more information about OMAN by UTMB®, please see the website. You can also follow the progress of the runners on the official social media channels: