MUSCAT: The fourth edition of annual Ironman Oman 70.3 will kick-start the international triathlon season with more than 800 triathletes from across the world set for the competition, according to Race Director Mohammed al Obaidani.
The iconic event will be organised by the Triathlon Middle East (TRI.ME) in association with the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism at Shatti Al Qurum (Qurum Beach) area on February 4.
The 2023 Ironman 70.3 Oman offers 45 age group qualifying slots to the 2023 VinFast Ironman 70.3 World Championship to be held on August 26-27, 2023 in Lahti, Finland.
Al Obaidani, also Chief Executive Officer and founder of Triathlon Middle East, said: “The Ironman 70.3 Oman has a substantial following throughout the world, and we are extremely excited to welcome all regional and international athletes into the Sultanate of Oman for what will be the first and biggest event of its kind in the Middle East for the 2023 season.”
“The GCC especially has a passionate endurance sport following and is also home to large number of elite-level triathletes, so we are confident that the 2023 event in Muscat will be a truly spectacular and memorable event,” he added.
The event will welcome athletes of all experience levels including some of the world’s elite men and women triathletes to race against the clock on a route that includes the series’ standard 1.9 km swim, 90 km road bike, and final 21.1 km run – for a total race distance of 113 km.
The title sponsor of the 2023 Ironman 70.3 Oman is the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, while Sohar International is the official sponsor. Co-sponsors include Oman’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Muscat Municipality and the Oman Triathlon Committee.
Asma al Hajri, Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, said: “The Muscat Municipality’s hosting of this 2023 Ironman 70.3 Oman triathlon is another step in the right direction for Oman’s growth as a premier destination in the GCC and Middle East region for hosting international sports events, and adventure tourism activities. Furthermore, along with the direct impact that the Ironman Oman will have on the local tourism economy and related sectors, it will also serve to highlight the extensive value and beauty that the Sultanate of Oman can provide the global triathlon community, and by
extension, the global tourism industry.”
The 2023 Ironman 70.3 Oman route will entail a swim in the Sea of Oman waters off Shatti Al Qurum, followed by a bike and run route that will take athletes through Muscat’s magnificent urban settings and historic Old Quarter, as well as through the spectacular mountain and desert terrain surrounding the capital. The route will track its way past many of the capital’s tourism highlights – including the Muttrah Sea Road and Souq, Al Alam Palace, Royal Opera House Muscat and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.
With the race’s start, transition zone and finish line all situated at the same location at Shatti Al Qurum, the triathletes, their support crews, and the large number of spectators expected to turn out to watch the event can look forward to an action-packed race atmosphere in one central ‘stadium’ style location.
While the flagship 2023 Ironman 70.3 contest will take place on February 4, the event also include an Ironkids Muscat Run on February 3 for boys and girls aged 3 to 13.
The Ironman Race Village, which will run from February 2 to 4, also promises to provide an action-packed hub of entertainment for competitors and endurance sport fans in Oman.
In the third edition in 2022, Olivier Godart of Luxembourg emerged the men’s champion while Lizi Brooke of Great Britain bagged the honours in the women’s section.