The Sultanate of Oman’s Al Mouj Muscat Marathon breaks records as it receives international recognition

Al Mouj Muscat Marathon 2017.
CEO Nasser Al Sheibani
Photo by Lloyd Images

The 2018 Al Mouj Muscat Marathon has come of age with a record-breaking entry and formal recognition of its international status.

This year’s event has seen a dramatic surge in numbers with 6,051 runners registered to take part, an extraordinary 370% increase on 2017.

At the same time world running’s international governing body the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) has formally recognised the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon for the first time.

In addition, the Muscat coastal course has been precisely measured to meet global International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) standards so it can be directly compared with similar events worldwide, making the course eligible for recognised record-breaking performances.

The 2018 entry list shows runners from 86 countries, with substantial numbers from India, Britain, the Philippines, France, South Africa the US, along with hundreds more from countries ranging from Australia, Brazil and China, to Venezuela, Wales and Yemen.

“This was a great event when we first became involved in 2017, and I am delighted that it has attracted so many additional runners this year and that it has been given international recognition,” said Salma Al Hashmi, Chief Marketing Officer of national event organisers Oman Sail.

“The Al Mouj Muscat Marathon is a world-class celebration of health and fitness and it is the perfect opportunity to showcase Oman’s special blend of beauty and culture to the international visitors who will be travelling to Muscat and further afield,” she added.

In another new development, to help runners reach personal best or possible record times ‘pacers’ will be joining the Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10km races. These experienced runners will provide a pacing ‘bus’ to guide runners to their target times.

In what is now an expanded two-day festival of running, the opening day on Thursday, January 18 will feature a new Kids’ Run category. The following day has the main running events as well as the Marathon Relay category for teams and a 5km Charity Fun Run in support of The Oman Diabetes Association.

Overall entries for the Marathon have more than doubled – up by 52% to 233 – with the number of runners in the Half-Marathon and 10km events up by no less than 75% and 72% respectively with 684 and 1,285 runners.

Overall, the youngest runner will be among the seven-year-olds taking part in the Kids’ Run, while the oldest entry is 73-year-old Edwige Van Den Assem, who is travelling from Dubai for the 10km women’s race.

One of the more unusual entries is Sarah Steer, who will be out to reclaim her Guinness World Record for the fastest Half-Marathon pushing a double pram with her twin three-year-old boys aboard. Sarah held the record in 2016 only to see it recently broken by just 30 seconds. With husband Martin, she has run a marathon on every continent, including Antarctica, an achievement matched by only 200 people around the world.

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