MUSCAT, FEB 25 - Prestigious Ironman triathlon will launch its first Salalah 70.3 championship in a new unique event in the picturesque mountainous region of the Sultanate on September 18. The new Ironman 70.3 Salalah will join the Ironman event just completed in Muscat making it two of the kind in Oman. This will be the fourth Ironman 70.3 event in the Middle East, according to the Ironman Group, a Wanda Sports Group company. “Oman is a success story for us, and we are now ready and very much looking forward to writing the next chapter,” said Stefan Petschnig, Managing Director of Ironman Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“I want to congratulate the local team on their remarkable achievement. They have truly embraced the Ironman spirit and established our Ironman 70.3 series in the country. I wish them the best of luck for the second race in Oman.” Oman Observer had first reported about the plan for Salalah edition when Stefan Petschnig visited Oman in 2018 for the launch of the event in the country. “It will be ideal during the Salalah festival or Khareef season which offers a great weather for the events. But we are still on the process of exploring the implementation part, which requires support from lot of quarters,” Stefan had told Observer at that time.
Mohammed al Obaidani, Race Director and Chief Executive Officer of Triathlon Middle East (Trime), said this will be unique event considering the natural attractions of Salalah. “Salalah will be an exciting event for Ironman competition itself. We hope to make the inaugural edition a memorable one,” the former triathlete said. “After the success of Ironman 70.3 Oman in Muscat we were ready to take the next step and create the inaugural Ironman 70.3 event in Salalah. Ironman promotes a healthy and fit lifestyle and brings a significant economic impact to the region and city,” added Al Obaidani.
The City of Salalah is the second largest in the Sultanate and home to approximately 340,000 inhabitants. “As Oman’s largest integrated tourism complex, we are excited to host the inaugural edition of Ironman 70.3 Salalah at our destination,” said Mahmoud El Baroudi, Chief Operating Officer of Muriya. “Hawana Salalah provides the perfect setting for participants whilst offering visitors a variety of world-class amenities, including 1,100 premium hotel rooms. As this race gains momentum internationally, we look forward to welcoming sports enthusiasts at Hawana Salalah.”
SWIM, BIKE AND RUN
The 1.9 km swim course is located in the turquoise water of the Hawana Lagoons. Athletes will swim around the lagoons to the middle of the marina where they enter the transition zone. The out-and-back 90.1 km bike course is flat and fast and leads athletes along the majestic coastline of the Indian Ocean with parts of the bike course on the highway that leads from Salalah to Mirbat. The final three-loop 21.1 km run course takes athletes around the Hawana Salalah and through spectator-friendly streets and alleys. The finish line is located in the heart of the marina. The 2020 Ironman 70.3 Salalah will offer 30 coveted age-group qualifying slots to the 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St George, Utah, USA. General registration for Ironman 70.3 Salalah opened on February 25.