Four Stages, Many deserts

The 2018 Oman Desert Marathon. Day4 of racingPhoto credit - Lloyd Images

Four Stages, Many deserts

Oman Desert Marathon 2023

Four stages, many deserts

 Muscat, 25/8/2022 – Five months before the Oman Desert Marathon, the playing field, the desert, awaits the runners with the archetypal image that everyone imagines: sand, dunes, a few palm trees, Bedouins…

In the Omani desert, the participants of the four-stage trial in self-sufficiency will push themselves to the limit and assume the cost of the kilometres in the desert, a place where one must be wary of the rolling terrain or apparently discreet mileage.

Yellow, red sands… Wetter and more compact, drier and softer… not all are the same, but they are all in the Omani desert and will feature in each of the stages, offering runners their peculiarities. Sand, like snow, comes in many different states that will challenge runners each day in a different way, allowing them to jog or run comfortably one day, and the next take one step back every three, climbing a seemingly endless slope of sand to the top of a dune from which they will have to face the next one!

The 2018 Oman Desert Marathon. Day4 of racing.  Photo credit – Lloyd Images

A tough test for the legs but, above all, for the mind, which will also have to be self-sufficient, with that additional degree of difficulty involved in carrying everything that is necessary throughout the race: food, spares, material for sleeping and resting… In the race, the organisation will provide only water every 10 kilometres. Nowhere like in the desert do you so appreciate the substance that gives the planet life.

Four stages: 47, 55, 42 and 21 kilometres in which, as always, experience gives an edge. Nobody knows the Omani desert better than its inhabitants, among whom are those who have designed a race, the Oman Desert Marathon, designed to be tough but not impossible, conceived to face the desert with a chance of victory without giving anything away.

The method, just as physical shape, will be important: What to bring? How to distribute it? What to eat each day? How far to conserve strength and how hard to push? Questions that will be answered day by day until the final 21-kilometre stage that will lead the runners to the finishing line at the Al Jawhara Resort in Bidiyah. The Promised Paradise.

 “What sets the Oman Desert Marathon apart from other desert races is primarily the sand. Where natural waves of sand create a painting of divine beauty that weaves its threads from the rays of sunrise and sunset each day, to offer participants, followers and fans a state of fascination after the challenge of completing the race stages. A sport that teaches patience and betterment, a sport of excitement and suspense, a sport of adventure and strength.

The race makes its way into the hearts and minds of people all over the world.

The Oman Desert Marathon (ODM), an ultra trial of self-sufficiency, is internationally recognised as one of the toughest on the planet.

As the runners venture into the depths of the desert, they are alone with the mirages it has to offer. For those who do not stop halfway, it is about putting one foot in front of the other, running towards the horizon and following the flags that are the hallmark of the race that marks the route.

The Oman Desert Marathon is a physical, emotional and spiritual adventure in the fascinating Omani desert.”

Said Alhajri (Organiser)

“Running through the desert is a unique experience, it is a beautiful challenge. Pushing through the desert is no easy task; whether you run or walk, the distances double when you move through the sand. Physical preparation is key, but so is fighting your mind, which sometimes brings negative thoughts when you wander through the desert for a long period of time. Focusing on the goal is what keeps you going. Can a strong will or a distraction strategy help your Personal challenge? Supporting a cause close to your heart? For whatever reason, staying focused will help you cross the desert with determination.”

Rigel Cedeño (Race Director)