Rachid Al Murabity clinches 70K title with Al Saidi in 2nd, Al Khatri 3rd
At the first glimpse of sunlight this morning, around 421 trail runners representing 35 countries lined up at Birkat Al Mouz Bayt Ar Rudayda castle to take on the Himam Train Run Race. At the moment the clock ticked around to 6:15am, the starting pistol sounded and they were off, climbing into the mountains by as much as 2210m.
This year’s Himam Trail Race featured three distances, 20km, 35km and 70km. The first runners began to cross the finishing line after just over one hour 23 minutes after completing the 20km race and more athletes crossed the line for the next two hours and 50 minutes until all 145 athletes returned safely.
Each course heads towards the village of Al Muaydin and nearby date plantations before ascending the mountainside in the ultimate test of endurance. The routes then reverse course to head for the finish line with a gentle descent back down the mountain.
The battle for the lead went almost to the finishing line before Imad Al Farsi (OMA) managed to outlast Nasr Al Naabi (OMA) to take the gold medal. Omar Al Hadrami (OMA) finished third. The top ten male finishers were all Omani. The first female home was Ciara Blackstock (IRL) who finished eleventh overall in a dead heat with tenth place, completing the 20km course in 1:39:28.
Next to cross the line were the leaders in the 35km race, once more dominated by local runners. Yusuf Al Subaihi (OMA) took first place in a time of 3:01:43, followed six minutes later by Jamal Al Khatri (OMA) in a time of 3:07:35. Just 12 seconds later, Ghaith Al Saidi (OMA) finished third in a time of 3:07:47. The first female runner to complete the course was Joanna Buchholz (GBR) in a time of 4:25:28, finishing 22nd overall.
Winners of each race receive a prize of 500 OMR, 300 OMR for second and 150 OMR for third. The first female finisher will receive 150 OMR and all runners completing the course within 18 hours will receive a medal. The 70km race this year is registered at the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) and carries three points for each finisher which helps towards ranking positions and entry into the world’s toughest trail running marathon races, while the 35K carries 3 ITRA points.
The Himam Trail Race was organised by Himam Adventure, under the umbrella of Al Sahwa Team, Nizwa Club, and supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth, and the Oman Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, and the Authority for SME Development (Riyada) in Al Dhakhliya.
The event was sponsored by Petroleum Development Oman, gold sponsors Oman LNG, Ooredoo and bp Oman, and silver sponsors the Golden Tulip Nizwa and Mazoon Dairy, Zados and Daleel Petroleum.
For further updates, shared videos and images from the race, please follow @himam_adventure on Instagram and @Hikinghimam on Twitter.