The countdown to the 2019 Oman by UTMB has begun, with elite runners from around the world to compete against the backdrop of the dramatic Al Hajar mountain region from November 28-30.
An exceptional world-class field of record breakers and ultra-trail running champions will enjoy an adventure and race to remember when the second edition of Oman by UTMB begins on November 28. Building on the success of the inaugural event in 2018, the 2019 Oman by UTMB will be an exciting new chapter for the sport of ultra-trail running.
Over three exciting days of competition, almost 2,000 runners from over 60 countries will be immersed in the natural beauty of Oman’s dramatic interior, taking them through deep wadis, high ridges, ancient villages, and more than 2,200m of elevation gain onto Jebel Akhdar, the Green Mountain. Run by Oman Sail and part of the UTMB family of international events, Oman by UTMB will provide not only competition and challenge, but showcase the beauty of Oman’s mountainous landscapes.
First Arab women to summit Mt Everest Oman’s own Nadhira al Harthy, Mona Shahab of Saudi Arabia, and Nelly Altar from Lebanon became the first Arab women to summit Mt Everest this year and will once again reunite to take on Oman by UTMB. Nadhira will take on the 130km route, while Mona and Nelly will compete in the newly introduced 50km distance. Women’s 50km Headlining the contingent for the women’s 50km race is Brazil’s Fernanda Maciel.
The environmental lawyer will certainly be a contender; she has made the podium in four previous UTMB events and holds the world record as the fastest woman to run up and down Mt Kilimanjaro.
Holly Page, who represented Great Britain in the 2018 Trail Running World Championships, will also be among the elite field, as will young Nepalese duo Sunmaya Budha and Mira Rai, with their head-to-head battle to add extra excitement to the competition. Women’s 130km America’s Meredith Edwards will return to Oman after finishing third overall in the 137km event in 2018.
However, Edwards will face tough competition in Francesca Canepa, the 2018 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc winner. Men’s 130km The men’s 130km field will be one to watch with many strong competitors entered, including Sebastian Chaigneau, who is preparing by racing 150-200km every week, and fellow Frenchman Julien Chorier; Masashi Shirotake of Japan, and Mike Foote, who has caused interest since breaking into the ultra-running scene in 2011, when he finished the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc as the first American and placed third the following year. Foote also set the world record for most vertical skied (61,200ft) in 24 hours in 2018.
The sold-out 170km will be a first for Oman by UTMB, with the athletes taking on this challenge to follow the 130km route up Jebel Akhdar, before carrying on along the top of the plateau and climbing to an altitude of almost 3,000m around Jebel Shams.
Adding to the excitement surrounding this thrilling new event, co-founder of UTMB, Michel Poletti, has announced he will be taking on the challenge. Poletti, who contributed to designing the Oman by UTMB course, said, “In Oman, trail runners will discover incredible landscapes unlike anywhere else in the world. It truly is a unique experience in an unforgettable landscape.” Runners can register at https://omanbyutmb.com/enter/
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