As well as New York, the selection of the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon as an official qualifying race for the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) Wanda Age Group World Championship sees the 2020 event join the likes of other qualifying marathons spread around the world, such Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, and Chicago.
“The Al Mouj Muscat Marathon has been growing while acquiring an increasing international profile,” said David Graham, CEO of event organiser Oman Sail.
“Being named as an AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Ranking qualifying event is further recognition of the inspiring progress of the Muscat Marathon itself, as well as the expanding appeal of Oman as a sports tourism destination.
“The Al Mouj Muscat Marathon is a culmination of joint efforts and I would like to thank the Ministry of Sports Affairs, and the Oman Athletic Association and Muscat Road Runners for their ongoing direction and support.”
The second AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Ranking season began in October and has already seen the 16-year-old record of Al Mouj Muscat Marathon International Ambassador Paula Radcliffe broken by Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei in Chicago. The ranking season will end at the Chicago Marathon in October 2020, with the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships held in the Spring of 2021.
“Throughout the last year, good health, relentless determination and a competitive spirit has fuelled hundreds of age group participants to push further in their racing journey,” said Chris Miller, divisional vice president of AbbottWMM.
“We’re excited to expand the number of qualifying events and recognise more runners as they compete and prove what’s possible with good health and inspire so many others along the way.”
The Al Mouj Muscat Marathon caters from the elite to the new-runner, with the flat route and average temperatures of between 20 and 25°C meaning it is the perfect event to achieve a new personal best.
Given the ideal conditions, it is no surprise that the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon has grown rapidly from 135 competitors in the inaugural event in 2012, to over 8,000 across all events at the eighth edition in January 2019. That number is expected to swell again in 2020, with more than 10,000 projected to participate in the two-day running festival on January 17 and 18.
As well as Olympian and World Champion Paula Radcliffe, a host of Omani sporting stars will be taking part, with West Bromwich Albion Goalkeeper and Oman Football Captain Ali Al Habsi, tennis player Fatma Al Nabhani, Olympic show-jumping silver medallist Sultan Al Touqi, car racer Ahmad Al Harthy, sprinter Barakat Al Harthi, and Olympic sailing hopeful Musab Al Hadi all ambassadors for the event.
Paula said: “It’s really exciting that runners will now be able to earn ranking points for the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championship at the 2020 Al Mouj Muscat Marathon.
“It’s a real testament to what a great event it is. I really love being a part of the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon; the weather in Oman in January is ideal, the people are warm and welcoming, and the course is just perfect for trying to set a new PB. The marathon in 2020 is set to be bigger than ever and I can’t wait to be back and celebrating our sport in Muscat.”
The 2020 edition will again feature the main marathon event on the opening day, along with the half-marathon and 10km races. The popular 5km Fun Run and the Kids’ Run will be held on day two.
For more information about how to get involved in the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon, see the website here . Further details about qualifying for the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships can be found at https://www.worldmarathonmajors.com/agwr/how-it-works/