(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) With an eye on giving Oman a unique athletic event and promoting the importance of physical well-being, the Al Amerat Challenge Race 2014 is set to take off at the Amerat-Bausher mountain road on February 15.
Over 350 runners have already registered for the event as more details were announced on Sunday in a press meet attended by Sheikh Saif al Hosni, chairman of the Oman Athletics Association (OAA), Rashid al Kindi, representing Excellence Performance, a sports management company, and top athletes taking part in the race - Sudan's Abubaker Kaki and Oman's Qais al Mahrouqi.
Kaki's coach Jama Aden and young Omani sprinter Shnoona al Habsi were also present at the media briefing.
The event features two contests - the main 9km run and a 3km fun race. The races are open to men and women of all age groups.
Kindi told Muscat Daily, ''We would like the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to take notice of this event, since this is an extremely challenging race. The route doesn't involve a flat road, there are ups and downs.''
The 9km race, which will begin at 8am, will see the participants go 4.5km up the winding Amerat-Bausher mountain road before making it back down the same route. The 3km fun race will make the runners go 1.5km up before returning along the same course.
A total of RO6,000 in cash awards will be given to the winners from the two races.
Kaki training for Diamond League:
Sudan's Abubaker Kaki, who will participate in the upcoming 9km race, is in Oman since last month to train for the upcoming IAAF Diamond League in Doha, Qatar on May 9.
The two-time 800m world indoor champion said, ''I am training here for the 1,500m and 800m events and will be here until April 1. The competition is going to be tough in Doha, with top athletes in the world taking part.
''I have been coming to Oman for the past three years. The OAA has been kind enough to provide me with facilities and all the help I need for my training.''
As for the Al Amerat Challenge Race, Kaki believes 9km is the 'perfect distance' for seasoned as well as rookie runners.
''I had begun my career doing such long-distance runs,'' said Kaki. ''In school, we started off with 5km and 9km races before heading on to shorter distances. You get an idea of your stamina from such race