Muscat, 8th January 2020 – The countdown to OMAN by UTB® 2020 has begun, with registration open at www.omanbyutmb.com for the Ultra-Trail World Tour’s season ending event in December. Runners from all over the world now can sign up to conquer some of the highest peaks on the Arabian Peninsula, with registrations now open for the third edition of the spectacular and challenging OMAN by UTB®.
The 2020 edition of OMAN by UTB® will be the season ending event on this year’s Ultra-Trail® World Tour calendar. Between 3-5 December, runners will traverse date palm filled oases and abandoned ancient villages, and experience breathtaking views as they summit peaks thousands of metres above sea level in Oman’s incredible Al Hajar Mountain range.
Two new distances, 100KM and 150KM, have been introduced for the 2020 event. Runners will need 3 qualifying points to take part in the 100KM event, and 4 for the 150KM. In addition to earning 5 and 6 qualifying points for completing the respective courses, finishers of both distances will also collect ‘Running Stones’ – 15 for the 100KM and 18 for the 150KM, offering a fast-tracked entry to UTB® Mont-Blanc races in Chamonix.
OMAN by UTB® is a truly unique event. From the start at the 17thcentury fort in Birkat Al Mouz, those taking part are immersed in the unique and ancient culture of Oman. Both the 100KM and 150KM follow a course up Oman’s iconic mountain, Jebel Al Akhdar (The Green Mountain) and Jebel Hatt, while the 150KM runners will also conquer a third mountain: the 3,000m Jebel Shams, one of the highest peaks on the Arabian Peninsula.
Almost 2,000 people from 74 countries took part in the second edition of OMAN by UTB® in 2019, with competitors not only singing the praises of the spectacular views and beautiful scenery of the courses, but also of Oman’s warm and distinctive culture and hospitality.
British runner Holly Page placed second in the women’s 50KM race last year and said: “UTB® holds a really special place in my heart so when I heard there was going to be one in Oman I just had to be part of it. There is so much to explore in Oman. It’s a true gem in the Middle East.”
American runner Jason Schlarb, joint winner of the 2018 men’s race, added: “The course was challenging, technical, and exciting all at once. But it is the Omani hospitality that really makes this a special experience. The people are unbelievably inviting and it should be a race on every runner’s bucket list.”
OMAN by UTB® is a product of a partnership between Oman Sail and UTB® and is one of five new events added to the 2020 Ultra-Trail® World Tour calendar.
Marie Sammons, Ultra-Trail® World Tour Executive Director, said: “We are very pleased to welcome OMAN by UTB® to the 2020 Ultra-Trail® World Tour calendar. Over the course of its first two editions, OMAN by UTB® has proved to be a memorable and distinctive experience for the global trail running community and will be a great addition to this year’s Ultra-Trail® World Tour.”
As well as the new long-distance events at 2020 OMAN by UTB®, the 50KM and family-friendly shorter races (10, 5 and 2KM) will return after proving extremely popular in 2019.