FAQ & Race Guide

GENERAL FAQs

If the event is canceled indefinitely, you will be able to avail of a refund on your race ticket. The amount refunded will be excluding service charges paid in both scenarios. For more information, please read our Terms & Conditions.

Alternative payment methods?

Please email registrations@marathonoman.com with your payment concerns and the organizer will see what alternative solution is possible.

How do I update my information in my registration?

If you would like to update your form or email address, please send a message to registrations@marathonoman.com and we will do this for you.

When can I view my race result?

Race results will be available to search on the official website soon after the end of the event.

I have not received any emails confirming my entry to the event, what should I do?

You can drop an e-mail to registrations@marathonoman.comand we will check for you

RACE INFORMATION

What are the stage cut off times?

Cut offs are from 6, 8 or 14 hours, we adapt the cut offs according to the temperature and the average times of the runners on the previous stage. The cut offs are decided before the start of each stage in order to allow the maximum number possible of runners to finish the stage in a reasonable time. Some participants decide to do some stages of hiking, cut off times allows to hike. Nobody was excluded for missing a cut off.

Hot water: will any hot water be provided in the camps at night or will runners need to have a stove to heat their own water?

A boiler will be available morning and evening. However, we suggest you to be independent especially for lunch, after the race: the generator might not be on and you need to eat. The best time to eat is when you need to eat, not when hot water is available.

Is there a daily limit per person and at the camp or will runners be able to have as much water as needed?

Drinking water will always be available, however we can’t guarantee the access to wells at each camp, although most times this is possible. This means that we will work hard to provide you a fast shower every day, but this depends also on water availability, wells and conditions of the roads to transport the water. Last year the runners had the opportunity to shower every day. Please don’t take it as a guarantee: water can finish and many things can happen in the middle of the desert.

Sleeping bags – are they carried by the organization or by the runners?

Sleeping bags are carried by runners.

Transfers from Muscat to the race – Can you confirm that there is one at 9am and 11am? And is the transfer directly from the Muscat airport?

Yes, we will arrange 2 direct transfers at about 9am and 11am, according to the incoming flights schedules. All runners should update their personal record on our website adding the flight details in order to arrange the transfers.

What time should I be at the start line?

You should be at the start line at least 15 minutes before the race starts.

How do I know I will not get lost?

The course is well marked with beach flags every 500 meters, we patrol the route and make sure all runners are registered at all check points.

What will be the temperatures in the desert?

The temperatures during the night drop down, and the perceived temperature is even lower, as at night the competitors are tired and often go to sleep with a lower calorie intake than they are used to. Never underestimate the cold at night. Fortunately, the night temperature in Oman is quite mild when compared to other deserts, for example the Sahara. Expect a temperature of 12-15° Celsius.

Can I run barefoot?

No, during an edition of the Oman Desert Marathon we had a barefoot runner that insisted on trying to run since the first day with no shoes. After 5 kilometers of burning sand, he changed his mind. Unfortunately, he developed a lot of blisters and he couldn’t finish the race.

Are Sand Gaiters mandatory?

Yes, the Oman Desert Marathon is a race where most of the course is on the sand, and the sand you will find is mostly soft. In some races the sand gaiters can be considered optional, this strategy doesn’t work in Oman. Once there was a competitor that “forgot” to take the sand gaiters. After 1 stage of struggle with the sand, he cut the sleeves of his night jacket and used them as socks covering the shoes and blocking most of the sand. He was able to finish the race, but he said that in the future he will never forget the sand gaiters.

How to choose, prepare and use the sand gaiters correctly?

Buy gaiters specifically designed for the desert. Don’t buy hiking or mountain gaiters, even if the salesperson gives you this advice. You need gaiters specifically designed to stop the sand and they must be light and cover all the shoes and part of the leg. Mountain gaiters are designed to stop small stones, water and mud and the material and shape is not adequate for the desert: they will just increase the temperature and humidity of your feet, without blocking the sand. Example of desert gaiters.

How to put gaiters on my shoes?

Stitches are crucial. You have 2 options for fixing the sand gaiters to the shoes:

  1. Sew the sand gaiters directly on the shoes and create an inseparable “combo” shoe + gaiter. If the work is done correctly this solution gives you the most solid and affordable way to wear sand gaiters. This is the solution adopted by many top runners, and is the best solution for very fast runners. The negative aspect is that you must wear the gaiters all the time and this increases the humidity and temperature of your feet, which is directly correlated with the increased risk of blisters. Fast runners finish the stages in less than half of the time of the average runner and in 1/4th of the time of the slowest runner and for this reason, this solution works for them.
  2. Seam a stripe of Velcro on the shoes. Do to try to use glue: many sand gaiters brands suggest to use glue, but in years of experience in the desert we saw that 90% of times the glue is not the best solution, as it melts, rip off or lose adherence, and having just a small section of the shoe without cover, will cause the sand to enter. With Velcro you can put the sand gaiters on and off, your feet can breathe better and this is the most versatile solution.
How to choose the best sleeping bag and sleeping mat for a Desert Race?

Bring with you an extra light sleeping bag and to use the one provided as a mattress beneath the sleeping bag. The weight should be from 500g to 800g, no bigger than the size of a hand, and the technical specification to look for is a ‘1 Season’ sleeping bag – be sure not to buy a ‘1 to 2 Season’ sleeping bag. Prices vary from €20-60 (£15-£45).

The sleeping mats have very variable prices according to the weight, size and insulation properties. You don’t need much insulation as we will not be in a wet environment, but you should focus on size and weight to find out the best solution for your needs.

Where will I sleep?

The Oman Desert Marathon will provide big tents for sleeping, where the runners will find shelter at the end of each stage. The tents are open on one side, so you will not be sleeping in an enclosed space and fresh air can circulate.

What should I eat during the race?

In the desert every single planned caloric intake is crucial. If you don’t underestimate those aspects and you plan carefully your meals you will not have any problem in finishing the race, and you will be in the best conditions to enjoy the beauty and magic of the desert.

Follow these 7 steps guide to choose your food:

  1. Follow the race rules. The rules are stating that you need food for 4 days and a minimum of 12.000 kcal. This means an average of 2.000 kcal per day. This amount is the minimum required to participate in the race, however, your calorie needs might be much more. The fatigue and the heat will reduce your appetite and there is a risk of not eating enough food. Before the race, try to keep a diary of what you eat and of your weekly calorie intake. On the web there are many apps for that, do it for a week of intense training. This will give you a fairly precise idea of how many calories you need and how you feel with that amount of food.
  2. Eat all the time. Don’t plan a single or just two meals a day, the best strategy is to have a light breakfast, some snacks during the race (bars, gels, dry fruits, etc), the main meal just after the race and a light evening meal. Many people can’t eat just after the daily stage, as they feel too tired and they lose appetite. A complete meal after the daily stage is crucial for a correct recovery and preparation for the next stage.
  3. Plan your meals. Your first day in Oman will not require any food from home, we will transfer you from the airport and lunch, dinner and soft drinks will be included and provided by the organization. And breakfast before 1st stage start You will need food for 4 full days.
  4. Test your meals. All the dry freeze food you can buy on the web or in stores have been studied to be tolerated by the majority of people. Always buy samples and try your meals before buying what you need for the race.
  5. Don’t underestimate the snacks and the breakfast. Alternate bars and gels with dates, nuts, dry figs or dry meat and plan to eat small and frequent amounts of food during the effort. Vacuum-sealed small portions of Parmesan cheese are also a great solution, and this kind of cheese can resist the heat of the desert. Don’t skip the morning meal: in one or two days you will be paying a high price for this decision.
  6. Don’t forget electrolytes. Electrolytes (salts) are very important to avoid dehydration. The supplements contained in gels and bars are not enough. Plan to assume them with food or in small and frequent doses.
  7. Test your backpack: the food must fit your backpack and you will be able to run with it. Don’t forget to try to run, or even better, train for a month or more, with your full backpack. During the race, the weight of what you carry will decrease daily but the fatigue will increase. Be sure you can run with what you plan to carry and be sure that what you plan to eat fits the backpack.

Good planning means to run a good race. If you have doubts, ask us and we will be glad to help you. You can also discuss or ask advice to the other competitors in our closed Facebook group, just for ODM Runners

When / Where will the Race Pack collection be?

Race pack collection will be at the Race Village on January 20th 2023 as stated in the program

I have a question which I can’t find the answer to in the FAQ. What should I do?

If you can’t find the answer to your question in the FAQs, our team is ready to help. Please email us at registrations@marathonoman.com

I cannot make my Race Pack collection dates, what are my options?

Someone else can collect your Race Pack on your behalf, as long as you provide them with a copy of your confirmation email and photo ID.

When / Where will the Race Pack collection be?

Race pack collection will be at the Race Village on January 21st 2023 as stated in the program