Frequently Asked Questions

This event, which welcomes 300 participants for the first edition, offers an authentic and never seen course in the mountains of Jebel Akhdar. The course is physically and technically challenging. Climbs and descents are long and at times technical and exposed. Runners must be confident at height and on difficult terrain. Temperature will vary from daytime highs of 25°C+ to near freezing at night. Average daytime temperatures on the Jebal Akhdar plateau will be 10°-15°C but there is little shelter and so day long exposure to the sun means that runners need to guard against heat and dehydration. The race is carried out in semi autonomy and runners are responsible for their progress and well being between checkpoints.

The 2018 Oman by UTMB® event will take place from November 29th to December 1st.

• 137 km and 7800m ascent
• 300 runners
• Start on Thursday 29/11 at 19 :30 from Birkat al Mouz (near Nizwa)
• Finish Al Hamra
• Cut off time 44 hours
• ITRA Endurance Point 6
• Full course information at https://omanbyutmb.com/the-race/
• Prize giving – Afternoon of 1 December.
• Registration is only possible via the internet. Registration is on a first come basis.

Registration will be open from 4 May 2018. All candidates should complete the application form in full. Registration will be validated by the payment of the total registration fee (secure on-line payment)– except for elite runners who are entitled to free registration.

2018 registration fees: 220€ (early bird prices 199€ before 1 June)

In recognition of high calibre athletes and also for the fair management of registration, we reserve places for elite athletes, who make the request, according to strict criteria based on the general ITRA performance index.

Free entry for elite athletes:
Men > 800
Women > 700

Elite runners must register between 2 May 2018 and 30 June 2018. To register free, elite runners meeting the above criteria should contact Oman Sail on: info@omanbyutmb.com to obtain a discount code, which can then be entered when registering in the normal way.

By registering, each runner personally agrees to engage in the following:

• I declare that I have read and understood the regulations of the race (available at www.omanbyutmb.com)
• I understand and approve of the conditions of participation as presented in the rules
• I agree to respect all items of the rules and regulations
• I agree to be aware of any medical condition which could concern me and, consequently absolve the organisation of any responsibility for any medical problem which may arise during the event due to any negligence on my part

A list of obligatory and recommended equipment is included within the race rules which are available on the Oman by UTMB website.

Accommodation in the Nizwa area is limited. Oman Sail has secured a number of rooms for runners at the Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel and the nearby Nizwa Apartments. The Golden Tulip is the event hotel from which shuttle buses will run to the start and finish. It will also be the location of the after event party on 1 December. Nizwa Apartments are ideal for families and larger groups with one and two bedroom apartments.

Currently Golden Tulip has been sold out. You are now welcome to book at the Nizwa Hotel Apartments and still enjoy all the benefits.

To keep things simple, an exclusive runners’ accommodation and transport package has been arranged, which includes:

• 4 Nights’ Accommodation (28th Nov – checkout 2nd Dec) at Nizwa Hotel Apartments.
• Shuttle bus to start line and returning from the finish.
• The post event party and BBQ feast.
• Free transfers from Muscat to the event hotels on the 28th November and returning to Muscat on the 2nd December.

All competitors booking the Runners’ package will be offered return trip transfers from Muscat. Anyone who has not taken advantage of the accommodation packages will be able to book transfers for OMR 20 return. All UTMB registered runners will be contacted directly regarding this offer to determine their travel needs.

To book Nizwa Hotel Apartments,contact: reservations@nizwahotelapartments.com or gm@nizwahotelapartments.com, quoting OS-Nov/NHA18.

Golden Tulip Hotel near Birkat Al Mouz

Single Bedroom OMR 280 (plus 17% tax)

Twin Bedroom OMR 320* (plus 17% tax)

Double Bedroom OMR 320* (plus 17% tax)

Nizwa Hotel Apartments

Twin or Double Bedroom in Shared Apartment OMR 190 plus 17% tax

One Bedroom Apartment OMR 280 plus 17% tax

Two Bedroom Apartment OMR 340 plus 17% tax

Places at the official event hotel and nearby apartments are limited and we recommend booking early.

For runners wishing to organise their own accommodation in the area we also recommend booking early as demand will be high in November. If you are having problems or just want some advice please contact Oman Sail on info@omanbyutmb.com.

Runners who wish to camp please also contact info@omanbyutmb.com. We will make a camping area available if there is demand.

For runners basing out of Muscat (from which it is a 90 minute drive to the start area) we recommend the Mysk Hotel in Al Mouj and the Holiday Inn As Seeb. Both are very convenient for the airport and Oman Sail has negotiated preferential rates. Please quote ‘Oman Sail UTMB’ when booking.

Oman is an amazing country with so much to see that we really hope runners, friends and family will stay longer and explore our great scenery and experience our welcoming and authentic culture. In 2017 the World Economic Forum ranked Oman the fourth safest country in the world for visitors. National Geographic and Lonely Planet have declared Oman and its capital Muscat ‘must-see’ destinations, and Oman is rated as one of the best dive locations on the planet. Highlights for visitors include the Muttrah Souq, Wahiba Sands, the Damaniyat Islands, the beautiful Jebrin region, and Muscat’s Royal Opera House.

Oman by UTMB® is committed to offering you and your family the very best travel deals, promising to take care of every aspect of your visit. If you would like to see more of the Sultanate during your stay, create your custom adventure by contacting Renita at our travel partner Zahara Tours, on +968 24400864 or Renita@zaharatours.com.

Self Drive: There are numerous car hire companies in Muscat. Oman Sail recommends Hertz and Thrifty. Note: a 4×4 vehicle is required to access the Jebal Akhdar Plateau.

Shuttle Bus from Muscat: Oman Sail will be organising a shuttle bus from Muscat to Nizwa on 28 and 29 November and back on 1 and 2 December. Timings and booking information will be sent to registered runners well in advance of the event.

Shuttle Bus from Golden Tulip to start and back from finish: This shuttle bus will be available to runners staying at the Golden Tulip and Nizwa apartments as part of their accommodation package.

For full details see the event rules. Certificates must be uploaded before 31 October. A template is available on the registration site and you can download it here:

http://oman.reg.livetrail.net/documents/oman/certificate_en.pdf (English version)
http://oman.reg.livetrail.net/documents/oman/certificate_fr.pdf (French version)
http://oman.reg.livetrail.net/documents/oman/certificate_es.pdf (Spanish version)

Visitors to Oman require a visa in advance of arrival. A new e-visa system has been recently introduced to make this process quick and easy for tourists. To check you qualify and apply please visit https://evisa.rop.gov.om.

A runners’ guide with further detail on all aspects of the event will be published and sent to registered runners 2- 3 months before the event.

Oman by UTMB takes a 137km route which climbs from the town of Birkat Al Mouz at 600m onto the Jebal Akhdar Plateau. The majority of the course is on the plateau and explores the area’s unique environment.

An old stronghold on the inland side of the mountain is Birkat al-Mouz, or Pool of the Plantains, with a layout similar to that of the nearby Jabrin Palace. Poised across the yawning mouth of a great pass into the mountains, Birkat al-Mouz was one of the fortresses of the Bani Riyam tribe which controlled the mountain heartland. Collapsing into ruin until recently, the mud-brick fortress and its painted ceilings are now being restored.

The Jebel Akhar, Jabal Akhdar or Al Jabal Al Akhdar (meaning ‘Green Mountain’)is part of the Al Hajar Mountains range in Ad Dakhiliyah Governorate of Oman. It extends about 300 km (186 miles) northwest to southeast, between 50–100 km (31–62 miles) inland from the Gulf of Oman coast and is one of Oman’s most spectacular areas. The highest point, Jebel Shams (Mountain of the Sun), is around 3,000 metres (around 9,800 feet) high. This mostly limestone mountain is the highest point in Oman and the whole of eastern Arabia. In 2019 Oman by UTMB plans to include Jebel Shams in an awesome long course option.

Jebel Akhdar forms the central section of the Al Hajar Mountains range, and is located around 150 km (93 miles) from Muscat. The range is mostly desert, but at higher altitudes receives around 300 mm (12 in) of precipitation annually — moist enough to allow the growth of shrubs and trees and support agriculture. It is this that gives the mountains their “green” name. The area is about a 45-minute drive from Nizwa and is known for its traditional rose water extraction and agricultural products including pomegranates, walnuts, apricots, black grapes and peaches. It is also the site of honey bee breeding for much of Oman. Agricultural production is improved by the use of Aflaj irrigation channels and their associated terraces system devised by the local farmers, whose ancestors have lived on this mountain for hundreds of years. The Jebel is mostly inhabited by the ancient Arab tribe Bani Riyam (al Riyamy).

In August 2011, Sultan Qaboos designated Jebel Akhdar a nature reserve in a bid to conserve its unique yet fragile biodiversity. A decree issued by Sultan Qaboos established the ‘Jebel Akhdar Sanctuary for Natural Sceneries.’

There will be two welcome and briefing sessions. For those reaching the Nizwa area on the 28th or before we ask you to come to the Golden Tulip Hotel for a briefing 19.00 on the 28th November. For your convenience bid distribution will be in an adjacent room. If you are not able to make this session the content will be repeated at the Golden Tulip at 14.00 on the 29th and bib distribution will also be available (see Bib Distribution and Equipment Checks).

This briefing is not compulsory but may contain important updates and reminders and so we advise you to please attend.

You will have three opportunities to collect you bib. We would ask that you make use of the earliest opportunity to collect your bib:

Golden Tulip Hotel 28 November 18.00-20.00

Golden Tulip Hotel 29 November 14.00-16.00

Birkat Al Mouz start area 29 November 17.00 – 18.30

At bib collection you must have your photo ID and race backpack with you and available for inspection. You will be asked to confirm that you have all the obligatory equipment. If you are missing any equipment or have lost an item we will do our best to help you replace it. BUT you must be aware that you will not be allowed to start if you do not have all obligatory equipment and a full physical check will be made before you enter the start area.

Due to the fact that many of the checkpoints are quite difficult to access and all require a 4×4, we will not be running a supporter’s shuttle service around all the checkpoints. We do however plan to run a shuttle from the Golden Tulip and Nizwa Apartments to Alila Hotel and Aid Station where personal assistance is allowed. Details will be published in the Runners’ Guide.

So if you wish to follow your runner via multiple checkpoints you will need your own 4×4. All the checkpoints up until Sharaf Al Alamayn plus Misfat Al Abriyyin are accessible by 4×4 from Birkat Al Mouz or Al Hamra. However we advise supporters not to try and drive to checkpoint 2 at Masirat Al Rawajih or to the aid station at Balat Sayt. We will publish further advice about this in our Runners Guide.

If you have family, friends or your spouse joining you they are welcome to join you at the After Party and on the shuttles should you have booked the Runners Package.  Otherwise it is an additional 20 OMR for shuttles and 15 OMR for the After Party.

You have to register for the After Party separately from booking your accommodation.  On this form you will also need to confirm your arrival and departure dates as well as booking shuttles.   You can book all of this here: https://omanbyutmb.com/the-form/

The food stations are there to provide you with essential snacks or energy drinks.  Below is a guideline of what might be available at the stations.  Should you have any specific dietary requirements that are outside the specified list, please ensure personal arrangements are made. Vegetarian and Halal options will be available.

Energy Bars

Cake

Gingerbread

Cookies chocolate

Biscuit (sweet)

Snickers

Cereal Bars

Black chocolate

Dried fruits

Peanuts

Biscuit (salty)

Bananas

Oranges

Watermelon

Cheese

Bread 400g