Oman by UTMB presents new distances for young runners and beginners

MUSCAT: Oman by UTMB will present three short distance races, which have been designed to enable youth runners and adults the chance to embark on a fun introduction to trail running in Oman’s magnificent Al Hajar mountain region. At this year’s Oman by UTMB trail running event, youngsters from the age of six years can experience an epic adventure offered by the 2 km, 5 km and 10 km courses. Adults new to trail running will now have the option of running the 2 km (parents of junior runners only), 5 km and 10 km. Starting and finishing in Al Hamra, the venue is surrounded by breath-taking views of the Sultanate’s mountainous interior. Young runners taking up the off-road challenge will follow safe low-level routes through a region featuring lush plantations and terraces.
Featuring elevation gains ranging from 34+ to 295+ metres, the 2 km, 5 km and 10 km distance categories will be hosted on 30 November, the final day of the second edition of the trail running event. The 10 km race (15+ years) features an elevation gain of 295m+. Entry fee is RO 10. Those aged 15+ who are keen to get an extensive feel for trail running may undertake the 10 km course. The 5 km (12+ years) race offers elevation gain of 125m+. Entry fee is RO 5. The 2 km (6-13 years) has an elevation gain of 34m+ and entry fee is RO 2. Parents looking for a fun family day out may also enter the 2 km category that their child is running and accompany them in this year’s most exciting off-road adventure, by registering online!
“This is a golden — and not to be missed — opportunity for kids to explore Oman’s nature and appreciate its beauty,” said Ahmed al Balushi, Secretary-General of the Oman Sports School Association. “These new races will encourage kids to get active, have fun and appreciate the great outdoors.” Educational establishments across Oman are invited to register their students for the Oman by UTMB youth running challenge. A 20-per cent discounted entry is available to university students and a prize of RO 1,000 to be spent on sports equipment is on offer to the school and university that each has the highest number of trail run finishers on race day.
The introduction of the youth races was warmly welcomed by Omani trail runner Hamdan al Khatri, who was the first Omani runner to finish last year’s event and recently completed a race at the classic UTMB Chamonix event. “Anything that encourages kids to take up this sport is a good thing and they will have a great time taking part,” he said. “Oman is blessed with a fantastic variety of landscapes with the mountains at its heart — which is something that will give our youth an advantage at doing well in this sport!” he added.
The second edition of Oman by UTMB begins on November 28, which will host the start of the original 130 km race as well as a new extended 170 km challenge. All finishers in these categories earn a guaranteed entry for UTMB 2020 in Chamonix. Another new event, the 50 km race aimed at trail runners looking for a shorter and still challenging course, starts on November 29. All these races can be entered at https://omanbyutmb.com/enter/.