IRONMAN and Triathlon Middle East have announced the launch of the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Oman. Supported by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), the event will be held in the capital city of Muscat on March 1, 2019.
Muscat will also host its first ever 5i50 triathlon this year, on November 18. This year’s Olympic distance 1.5km swim, 40km and 10k run is positioned as offering preparation for athletes and beginners in the lead-up to the IRONMAN 70.3 event in 2019.
The addition of the two new races in Oman has helped to bolster IRONMAN’s footprint in the region. The races join established M-Dot offerings in Bahrain and Dubai, as well as the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, produced in partnership with ITU, and IRONMAN 70.3 Astana in Kazakhstan, Central Asia:
- 5150 Oman – Muscat, Oman: Nov 2nd, 2018
- IRONMAN 70.3 Middle East Championship – Manama, Bahrain: Dec 1st, 2018
- IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai – Dubai, United Arab Emirates: dates in 2019 TBD
- IRONMAN 70.3 Oman – Muscat, Oman: Mar 1st, 2019
- ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi, UAE: dates in 2019 TBD
- IRONMAN 70.3 Astana – Astana, Kazakhstan: Jul 14th, 2019
A release from IRONMAN points out that ‘just as triathlon celebrates the fusion of swim, bike and run, the Sultanate of Oman fuses Middle Eastern culture with modernistic, western lifestyles, creating a perfect destination for IRONMAN 70.3 Oman.’
“It is with great pride that we announce the launch of IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon race in Oman,” said MoT Consultant of Tourism Affairs, Sayed Adil Al Busaidi. “It is our mission to make the Sultanate an obvious choice for international sports, as we believe the country has a lot to offer with enthralling beauty. Perfect weather awaits athletes as the warm desert heat is at bay during the cool season, leaving idyllic racing conditions that will entice both new and experienced triathletes. The country is well suited for holding events such as swimming, cycling, and running competitions.”
“We are excited to be in Oman and expanding the reach of the IRONMAN 70.3 and 5i50 brands within the Middle East, providing more opportunities for athletes to embrace the challenge and the fun of triathlon,” said IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa Managing Director, Stefan Petschnig.
In IRONMAN 70.3 Oman will see athletes pass views of the port city as they complete a 1.9km (1.2-mile) swim, 90.1km (56-mile) bike ride and 21.1km (13.1-mile) run during the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 event. The Arabian seas provide for a non-wetsuit swim, which will be held in the calm, clear waters beside the suburb of Al Shatti in downtown Muscat.
Al Shatti is also the location of bike transition. Athletes will take on a bike route that likens a travel tour, passing all major monuments of Muscat including the Royal Opera House, Muttrah Gate and Cornish, the Al Bustan Palace and the ‘enticingly fast’ Wadi Al Kabir Road.
IRONMAN adds that ‘Speed-lovers are in for a treat with a cruise down the flat 18 November Street.’ The single transition in Al Shatti provides convenience for athletes and a hot spot for spectators who should line the four-lap run course encircling the Royal Opera House and Intercontinental Hotel complex.
“We are more than honoured to host athletes from around the world to our beloved nation,” said Mohamed Al Obaidani, Race Director and Chief Executive Officer of Triathlon Middle East. “Triathlon is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic sports in the world, therefore, we want to bring the culture of triathlon and healthy lifestyle to Oman, aiming to make our nation prominent in this area.”
For the fastest age groupers, IRONMAN 70.3 Oman will offer 30 qualifying slots for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France.