MUSCAT, OCT 31 - Ironman top official Nico Aeschimann is all impressed with the preparations for the first ever Ironman 70.3 triathlon in the Sultanate. In Muscat for the inaugural 5i50 triathlon on Friday, November 2, Aeschimann, Ironman Regional Director for Southern Europe and Middle East, said the preparations are satisfactory. “The organisers have done a good job. Barring some minor hitch-ups, the arrangements are nearing completion.” To a query, Aeschimann agreed that the opening 5i50 triathlon would provide a perfect platform for the Ironman 70.3 in March 1, 2019.
“The 5i50 will provide us the platform for the big event. The race routes will be the same plus some addition distances we have to manage for the 70.3 event,” Aeschimann told Oman Daily Observer during an event organised by Triathlon Middle East (Tri.ME) at Jawahart Shatti beach.
More than 200 participants from approximately 35 countries will be participating in the inaugural 5i50.
Ihab Sorial, Oman Air Senior Vice-President of International Sales, said the youthful organisers and volunteers are all set to make the event a big success.
“The enthusiasm of the youth is clearly leading the organising committee and we trust in their abilities to make the event a big success,” he said.
Supported by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Mohamed al Obaidani, the Chief Executive Officer of Tri.ME, Ali al Tamimi, General Manager, and the main sponsors attended the event.
“We are excited to be organising Oman’s first Ironman series. It is an honour to be welcoming triathletes from around the globe to the Sultanate. A lot of fun activities have been planned alongside the triathlon so that both participants and athletes can enjoy their time here,” said Mohamed al Obaidani. “The 5i50 race is an opportunity that will allow beginners to test their endurance and prepare athletes for the main event, Ironman 70.3,” he added.
The warm Arabian seas will provide for a 1.5 km non-wetsuit swim, which will be held in the calm clear waters behind the InterContinental Hotel in the desirable suburb of Al Shatti in downtown Muscat. Al Shatti is also the transition location before heading out onto the 20 km bike route that takes in all the major monuments of Muscat including the Royal Opera House, Muttrah gate and Sea Road, the Al Bustan Palace and the enticing fast Wadi Al Kabir Road. Back at transition in Al Shatti, athletes will then run 4 laps around the Royal Opera House and InterContinental Hotel complex to complete their 10 km run and come to a finish.
ALL SET FOR 5i50
Preparations are in full swing as the day for 5i50 triathlon nears. Tri.ME has collaborated with the Armed Force Museum for the event as a way to show the visitors the history of Oman. Stealth is the triathlon’s nutrition sponsor, which makes 5i50 triathlon the first event in Oman to be sponsored by a nutrition company. The Royal Oman Police will be working relentlessly to ensure the safety of the athletes and to do so, Jawaharat Shatti and Oasis mall parking will be closed for 48 hours.
Furthermore, Tri.ME will be organising Coffee Boat for three days commencing from October 31. Athletes can swim until the boat that will be located in the cool waters of Al Shatti beach and enjoy their coffee whilst networking with other participants. To top it all, a Paramotor Show by Oman flying team will be held on November 1.
“We are honoured to be partnering with Ironman. An event of this calibre will put Oman on the map of triathlon events and make it one of the most sought after destination for such championships. The pleasant weather, serene landscapes and unique terrain will definitely awe visitors. This is an important milestone and we look forward to putting the scenic views of Muscat on the world stage,” said Haitham Mohammed al Ghasan — Assistant Director-General of the Tourism Promotion Department in the MoT.
He also praised the organisers and volunteers for their tireless effort in getting ready for the big event.
A closing ceremony will also be organised by the beach, where winners will be announced and awarded with medals. Athletes and their families as well as visitors will be able to enjoy the ceremony in the cool, pleasant weather. Mwasalat and Oman Air will be both working towards transporting athletes. Mwasalat will transport participants for free on the day of the event, whereas, Oman Air will allow athletes to fly with their bikes at no extra charge.