The magic of marathon continues to linger in the air in Muscat even after the end of the 2018 Al Mouj Muscat Marathon that took place over the weekend. Al Mouj became truly international spot where one could hear different languages and accents spoken and see the congregation of people from all over the world.
The passion to run seemed to have brought everyone together from all directions, the races varied too, giving everyone an opportunity to get involved at the event.
Talal al Rahbi, Deputy Secretary General for Supreme Council for Planning flagged off the 10k race and after the thousands of marathoners ran past entry point told Oman Observer that, “The energy is here unbelievable, people are excited and I think this is great for Muscat.”
Meanwhile the CEO of Oman Sail, David Graham, added, “This is an achievement at many levels such as the impact it is having on the tourism industry in the country but also inspiring people to actively participate in running. It was great to see so many people go through the start line. It was incredible.”
A beaming Salem al Toqi and an equally satisfied counterpart Saif al Barwani were all ready to record their memory with a picture while speaking to Observer said, “I have just completed 21k – half marathon. It was an amazing experience. We practiced and it is the best way to achieve your goal. It is all about the mind game. We are happy that Al Mouj conducted such a major event where we have seen participation by people from more than 70 countries.”
Saif al Barwani added, ”I did 21k half marathon it was not difficult honestly – mission completed.”
That was another element of the marathon people who participated wanted to encourage and see others take part by next year.
Hammeda al Jabri who won the full marathon by running 42k and winning cash award was full of energy even after the run, “Last year I completed 21k and I was the first Omani; this time I won for 42k.”
So how does she prepare? “I run early morning as well as in the evenings. Others can get trained too because three months prior to the marathon there is a regular training at Bawsher Stadium – Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex for children as well.”
Many of the participants also conveyed an important message and that is when it comes to sports, age is nothing but a number.
Nisha, Gloriana, Mario, Angela, Dennis, Claudia, Dominique were part of a group who had come all the way from Florence, Italy. Majority of the members in this group of marathoners fell into the age group of 50 to 70.
They were a racing group and in their group consisted of around 160 members. Part of their activities include an annual trip where the group leaves to an international destination. So this year the Sultanate became their chosen destination. “We loved it! We have been through the Golf and the sea so it has been fantastic!” exclaimed Nisha.
Thaiba al Suqri and her sister Fatma al Suqri ran 5k and 10k each and their excitement could not be controlled, said Thaiba, “you should try it.” “I will do it again,” said Fatma.
The annual event has also turned out to be an attraction for corporate as they participated as a group activity filled with enthusiasm.