Oman’s ace racer, rider, sprinter, footballer, tennis player and its sailing star are among participants of the 2020 Al Mouj Muscat Marathon
A huge turnout of over 10,000 people is expected at the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon this weekend as Oman attests its growing affinity for fitness on the world map of marathons that have now become more of a social jamboree than a sporting event.
While the message of making fitness a way of life is loud and clear, the marathon also seeks to support social causes in Oman to provide a more meaningful platform for participants to feel committed. This year, a number of local ambassadors are participating in the marathon, including Oman’s racing legend Ahmad al Harthy, tennis star Fatma al Nabhani, sprinter Barakat al Harthi and rider Sultan al Touqi alongside world record marathon champion Paula Radcliffe, who returns for the second year as an international ambassador to flag off the marathon’s ninth edition.
While the first Muscat Marathon, originally organised by Muscat Road Runners in 2012, had attracted just 135 participants, the numbers rose significantly every subsequent year and in 2017 it became a red-letter day in Oman’s social calendar with the involvement of established event managers Oman Sail and the support of title sponsor Al Mouj Muscat.
Last year, 8,000 runners representing 103 nationalities took part, while this year the two-day fitness festival is expected to break all previous records, winners’ individual records as well as that of international popularity. February 21 will witness the half-marathon, marathon relay and 10km run while February 22 will witness the Kids’ Run over three distances, besides the 5km run.
All for a good cause
Oman Diabetes Association and Environment Society of Oman
Former world record marathon champion Paula Radcliffe MBE has agreed to return as the international figurehead for the ninth edition of the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon.
Over her career she won both, the London and New York marathons on three occasions, has been European champion over 10,000m and in the cross-country and held the Women’s Marathon World Record time for 16 years.
Participating local ambassadors
Ali Al Habsi, Oman’s national football team goalkeeper
Oman’s tennis star Fatma al Nabhani
Oman’s Olympic show-jumping silver medallist Sultan al Touqi
The racing driver Ahmad al Harthy
Oman’s top sprinter Barakat al Harthi
Oman Sail’s Olympic sailing contender Musab al Hadi