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Oman Desert Marathon gets ITRA approval

ODM now will provide ranking points for athletes

MUSCAT, Sept 19

The eighth edition of the Oman Desert Marathon has been recognised by the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) so that the athletes will get international ranking points for their participation.

The Oman Desert Marathon now qualifies as the international race with ranking points.

The world trail running body has approved the race with 3 ITRA points, 1 Mountain point, and confirming the distance of 164.40 Km with a positive 1570 m elevation gain.

Earlier, seven-time Oman Desert Marathon winner Rachid El Morabity of Morocco had confirmed his participation in the race.

Rachid, one of the top world ultra-runner, has won the Marathon de Sables nine times to his credit.

The Moroccan athlete will be the major attraction for the eighth edition of the Oman Desert Marathon that will take place from January 21 to 23, 2023.

Now with the ITRA ranking points, the marathon will attract more top runners.

“This is a good international recognition for the Oman Desert Marathon as it runs into an eighth edition. We hope to get more elite athletes joining the marathon after getting the ranking points,” race owner Said al Hajri, told the Observer.

About the preparations of the marathon, Al Hajri said registrations would continue until one month before the competition.

“We have so far got good response from several athletes and more trail runners are expected now after the ITRA approval,” he said.

First held in 2013, the Oman Desert Marathon is a 165-kilometre race of self-sufficiency in four stages, including one night stage, through the spectacular Omani landscape with all its variety, from the Al Wasil oasis, crossing the desert to the Al Jawharat resort. The race is held in January to assure runners the best weather conditions.

The Oman Desert Marathon has now run up seven previous editions and in 2023 presents a 165-kilometre route in four stages through one of the most spectacular deserts in the world. The course in which the sand is present in every stage, offers the discovery of a very rich country in culture and landscape, while still being a tough challenge for those who want to enjoy a race through the desert.

In this edition, the stage distances will be 47, 55, 42 and 21 kilometres, thus offering the runners a spectacular route, an epic stage of 55 kilometres followed by a marathon distance, and a more relaxed last day for a good end to the party.

The last edition of OSD happened in 2019, in which the brothers Rachid and Mohammed El Morabity claimed the top two podium spots.

Through the four stages in one of the most beautiful deserts of the world: red, golden and white sands will make this journey unique to discover the most remote and untouched sands and the highest dunes of the Oman Desert on the tracks of the ancient caravans. The course will start from the Oasis of Bidiyah and finish at Al Jawharat Resort in Bidiya. The race has 14 aid stations, to ensure the success of each participant.

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