During a press conference held yesterday at the Torch Hotel, Aspire Zone Foundation announced that it is hosting the first IAU 50KM World Championships, in collaboration with the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) and the Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF). The Championship will take place on Friday, 4 December.
The unique event will be hosted by Aspire Zone annually through to 2017 as part of the IAU’s ongoing efforts to developing ultradistance running internationally.
Spokespeople present at the press conference included Abdullah Al Khater, Events Manager at Aspire Zone Foundation; Nadeem Khan, IAU Director of Communications; and Mohammad Sulaiman, Assistant Secretary General of the Qatar Athletics Federation.
Commenting on the championship, Abdullah Al Khater, Events Manager at Aspire Zone Foundation, said:
We’re proud to be the first country to host this significant international event, affirming Qatar’s strong and growing reputation as a global sports hub. Hosting this event is further evidence that Aspire Zone has become a preferred destination for elite sportsmen and women on account of the world-class educational, medical and training facilities and venues on offer.’
We’ve left no stone unturned in our preparations for the championship and in ensuring its success. We take the same rigorous and thorough approach to every event we host and organise, whether for local or international audiences. We wish all the participating ultrarunners the very best of luck and look forward to the growing success of this event in the coming years.’
Nadeem Khan, IAU Director of Communications, said:
We’re delighted with the response to the very first IAU 50KM World Championships which has attracted a large number of elite ultrarunners from around the world. At the IAU, our focus is on developing long distance running worldwide by encouraging specific activities in each of the IAU regions. Aspire Zone Foundation is the ideal partner to help us take the sport forward in the region and we’re excited to be working together.’
Mohammad Sulaiman, Assistant Secretary General of the Qatar Athletics Federation, said:
We’re delighted to help launch this championship in Qatar, further proof of the country’s progress as an international sporting capital. The QAF fully supports all events that showcase Qatar’s sporting capabilities and contribute to the broader development of the sports sector in the country. Events such as these play an important part in advancing local sporting talent as well as the knowledge and expertise of officials, technical teams, and organisers.’
The championship starts at 6 pm on Friday 4 December and finishes at midnight and will feature more than 100 of the world’s best ultrarunners as selected by their respective national federations. Strong competition is expected for the championship title between runners including Zachary Ornelas, Harm Sengers, Shingirai Badza, Camille Herron, Kelly-Ann Varey, Marija Vrajić, and other leading figures of the sport.
Those runners taking part represent 20 countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Mongolia, Holland, Norway, Serbia, Sierra Leon, Taipei, the United States, and Zimbabwe. Participants are split into two categories: individual male/female and male/female teams.
The race course is a 5KM looped circuit with runners required to complete ten laps. The course comprises a mix of surfaces including tarmac and a section of road that will be closed to traffic. It features three refreshment stations per loop and one Cool Zone. The course will be specially lit to enable the race to take place during the evening.
As well as the IAU 50KM World Championships, Aspire Zone will also host the third edition of the “Aspire International 6:50 Race”, which takes place during the IAU international race weekend and features 12 Qataris.
This unique event gives running enthusiasts from the local community the opportunity to run alongside IAU professional ultrarunners. It will also feature an athletes’ village where participants can register, warm up, cool down as well as meet with race organisers, media and others taking part.
The Aspire International 6:50 racecourse consists of a 50KM, ten-lap circuit across Aspire for individuals or teams made up of five members. Each lap is 5 km, with competitors required to complete the race within six hours. Categories in the Aspire International 6:50 race include the Open Race Male/Female, and Relay Team Male/Female/Mix.
Winners will be announced on Saturday December 5 at an awarding ceremony at the Torch Ballroom in the Aspire Ladies’ Club, where the first, second and third place winners from each category will be presented with medals and trophies.
Visit www.lifeinaspire.qa for rules and regulations, registration and for further information.