Muscat: Al Mouj Muscat Marathon is prepared for yet another record entry in 2019 as it meets the ever-increasing local, regional and international demand for long-distance running events.
The countdown to the 2019 Marathon has started with around 8,000 people to take part in what is earned to be the biggest marathon in the Sultanate, a press release said.
In a step-change for the event’s profile, world record marathon champion Paula Radcliffe is the international figurehead for the marathon’s eighth edition in Oman’s capital. The iconic British multiple world record holder will act as ambassador.
The 2019 event will again be a two-day festival of running – held on January 18 and 19 – also with six running categories.
The January date offers perfect running conditions with average temperatures between 17°C and 25°C, and a beautiful coastal course along the Muscat shoreline.
In a change to 2018 the full marathon event will now be held on the first day, Friday 18, along with the half-marathon, marathon relay and 10km run. The Kids’ Run and 5km charity fun run will now be held on the Saturday.
The Muscat Marathon was first held in 2012. Organised by the Muscat Road Runners the inaugural event attracted 135 competitors. Since then the grassroots event has quickly developed and significantly extended its international appeal.
In 2017, it cemented its position as one of the star events in Oman’s sporting calendar when it bought on-board the established event management expertise of Oman Sail and the support of title sponsor Al Mouj Muscat, the renowned waterfront destination.
After a record entry in 2017 the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon confirmed its global appeal in 2018 with another record of 6,094 runners representing 85 nationalities across all categories.
The 2019 Al Mouj Muscat Marathon will again feature six race categories, opening the event up to runners of all ages and fitness levels. They are:
- Marathon – The full 42km main event is sub-divided into Open, Veteran and Super Veteran age groups (17-39, 40-55 and 56-99 years-old respectively).
- Marathon Relay – a team category with 6 runners, each taking on 7km of the full Marathon course. Open to male, female and mixed teams with at least two female runners.
- Half Marathon – this 21km event is also sub-divided into Open, Veteran and Super Veteran age groups.
- 10km Race – this middle-distance category also features a Junior age group (10-16 years-old) in addition to the Open, Veterans and Super Veterans groups.
- Kids’ Run – will feature three different age groups with 7 and 8-year-olds on a 1km course; 9 and 10-year-olds on a 2km course; and 11 and 12-year-olds running a 3km course. All the young competitors will receive a medal.
- Charity Fun Run (5km) – also held on January 19, it is open to any runner aged 10 years-old and above. A quarter of all entry fees will go directly and equally to the event’s six charity partners (detailed below). Runners and their supporters can also top-up donations online at any time.
The charity partners for the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon 5km Charity Fun Run are:
- Al Noor Association For The Blind – offers support in a variety of sectors, improves living standards, and also facilitates the teaching of Braille in the community.
- Dar Al Atta’a Association – works to benefit the lives of the underprivileged through a positive and constructive partnership with donors and those in need.
- Oman Down Syndrome Association – promotes social, academic and professional inclusion and supports children living with Down syndrome in the Sultanate.
- Oman Diabetes Association – a non-governmental, non-profit organisation at the forefront of a project to prevent and reduce diabetes in the Sultanate and improve the lives of those with the disease.
- Oman Cancer Association – has a joint mission to prevent and control cancer in Oman, while improving patients’ quality of life and supporting their families.
- Environment Society of Oman – the first and only environmental NGO in Oman aims to protect the Sultanate’s natural heritage and promote environmentally sustainable behaviour through education, awareness and conservation.
2019 FIRST PLACE PRIZE MONEY
- Marathon RO1,925 – $5,000
- Half Marathon RO450 – $1,170
- 10k RO150 – $390
Total prize-money across all categories and places: RO14,052 – $36,500
PAULA RADCLIFFE – Ambassador
World record marathon champion Paula Radcliffe is the international figurehead for the eighth edition of the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon in January.
The multiple marathon winning British athlete has taken on the ambassadorial role to promote the increasingly popular event which has seen a record number of runners in each successive year since 2012.
The iconic former marathon, half-marathon and cross-country world champion – whose Women’s World Record time of 2:15:25 set in 2003 remains unbroken – aims to encourage greater participation by runners from both Oman and the wider regional and worldwide athletic community in the now internationally recognised event.
Radcliffe retired from competitive running in 2015. In her career she won both the London and New York marathons on three occasions, and has been European champion over 10,000m and in the cross-country.
Her numerous accolades include IAAF World Athlete of the Year (2002), AIMS World Athlete of the Year (2002, 2003 and 2005) and BBC Sports Personality of the Year. She was awarded an MBE in 2002.
Radcliffe will introduce and flag-off the start of the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon itself on Friday 18 January, and then take part in the 10k event.