Muscat: Hamdan Al Khatri and Hamed Al Harthi, Oman’s two top trail runners, will soon take their place at the start line in Chamonix, France, for the UTMB®Mont Blanc 170km 2021 trail race. Having been forced to postpone Last year’s attempt, Hamdan and Hamed are determined to make the most of the opportunity when the race begins on August 27.
The UTMB® is described as “a legendary race, a unique experience”, and it is one of the most prestigious trail events on the circuit. Starting from the foothills of Mont-Blanc, the 170 km course will take athletes up to 10,000 meters where each participant will have to rely on his strength and push his mental and physical capacities to the limit. The event attracts up to 10,000 runners each year and is considered a must see event for trail runners around the world.
Hamdan, 31, and Hamed, 62, have devoted the past few years to running, both competing in the first OMAN by UTMB® in 2018 and completing a variety of ultra-marathons around the world. Hamdan already raced at the UTMB® Mont Blanc, in 2019, when he was the first and only Omani in the CCC® 100km race. Hamed Al Harthi participated in OMAN by UTMB®, in 2019, as well as Ushuaia by UTMB® in Argentina the same year. His crowning achievement, however, was reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro earlier this year.
Speaking from his training camp in Chamonix, Hamdan Al Khatri said: “This return to action couldn’t present a greater challenge. Having to cancel my race plans last year and training under pandemic circumstances was not easy, but I am determined to give this race my all. Considering the scale of the UTMB® Mont Blanc race, it is certainly the biggest challenge of my running career to date.
Hamed Al Harthi accepted and is looking forward to the test. He said: “We know it’s a tough race, but we’ve prepared as best we can and we will support each other. I love the sport and can’t wait to wave the Omani flag proudly at the finish line.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sultanate of Oman had become one of the best emerging sports and adventure destinations in the world, with ultra-trail marathons in particular becoming incredibly popular. The rugged landscape and well-designed routes, which follow traditional paths between mountain villages, were largely unknown to marathon runners, but proved popular in 2018 and 2019 with international athletes participating in OMAN by UTMB® and remained open to the inhabitants of the region. use between events.
Hamdan Al Khatri, Hamed Al Harthi and other talented Omani runners have attracted national and international media attention with their exploits. After the conclusion of the UTMB® Mont Blanc, the duo hope to support an Omani team to participate in Thailand by UTMB® in October. The training is intense and demands supreme dedication and concentration, but the trail runners of Oman have become the symbol of perseverance and strength. Their mission to explore and conquer nature has been a source of inspiration for others who seek to test themselves, exceed their limits and discover the great outdoors.