Aspire Zone and the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU), announced that Aspire Zone to host the newly formatted 50 km World Championships from 2015 to 2017.

The announcement came during a press conference held at The Torch Hotel with VIP representatives from Aspire Zone; Abdulla Al Khater, Aspire Events Manager, Phillip Templar, Aspire Venues and Events Director, Dirk Strumane, IAU President and Nadeem Khan, IAU Director of Communications.

IAU President, Dirk Strumane, opened the press conference and said:

On behalf of the IAU, I am happy to be here and to be partnering with Aspire Zone. We look forward to a successful partnership and the long term cooperation of Aspire Zone as they continue to embrace Ultrarunning in the region and spearhead this sport in the Gulf Area. Aspire Zone has responded to the challenge of hosting the final leg of the 50 km World Trophy Final which features a top notch field, elite athletes and promises to be an exciting competition.”

Aspire Venues and Events Director, Phillip Templar, said:

Ultrarunning is a growing sport and one that has increasing interest in the region. I would like to thank the IAU Team for their assistance in helping Aspire Zone continue to grow long distance running locally and regionally which is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Qatar.’

Aspire Zone has established itself as Qatar’s premier organisation for hosting major sports events, training camps and managing the precinct’s world class sporting venues. In addition, Aspire Zone continues to focus on long distance marathons, as it enhances the sport throughout the State of Qatar.

Aspire Events Manager, Abdulla Al Khater, said:

Aspire Zone is proud to be witnessing two major Ultrarunning international sporting events this year with the World Trophy Final and the 100 km World Championships in November. This is the first time that a 50km Trophy race has been hosted in the MENA region and demonstrates the exceptional leadership of Aspire Zone in advancing this sport in the region.’

The final speaker of the press conference was Nadeem Khan, IAU Communications Director who said:

Aspire Zone has many great facilities which are qualified to support today’s races and all future ones. It is very exciting to witness this world event come to the region and we have had the pleasure of selecting a total of 38 athletes who represent 17 countries. Once again, I would like to congratulate Aspire Zone and Qatar for hosting the first ever ultrarunning event in the Middle East.’

This was followed by an introduction to the world class athletes who included Phil Anthony, Paul Martelleti, Michael Wardian, Emily Harrisson, Tina Major and Marina Zhalybina. All of the participants of the Aspire International 6:50 Race will have to complete 10 laps of a specifically designed 5 km track at the Aspire Zone grounds. Al Khater concluded the press conference by stating that:

The State of Qatar and Aspire Zone have a long term vision which includes a renewed interest in ultrarunning and reviving this sport. The world has begun to recognise Qatar as a sporting nation and we look forward to hosting many other sporting championships in the future.’

The winners across a number of categories including The 10th International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 50 km World Trophy Final Male/Female, Open Race Male/Female Overall, Open Race Male/Female under 40, Open Race Male/Female 40+, Open Race Male/Female 50+, Relay Team Male/Female/Mix and GCC Champion Male/ Female, will be honored at a special ceremony on Saturday 1 November 2014 at 11 am at The Torch Hotel. Medals will be awarded to first, second and third place winners across all seven categories.