(MENAFN Press) Doha, Qatar
The first-ever Qtel Marathon was a smash hit success today, with more than 1,200 people participating, and scores of families and friends cheering them on.
Three races took place“ a half marathon (21.1 km), a 10km race, and 1km fun run for children under 18 “on a beautiful January morning on Doha's scenic Corniche, starting at the Museum of Islamic Art.
All three races saw strong participation from a wide cross section of the community in Qatar, with men, women and children all cheerfully taking part.
In the fiercely competitive half-marathon, Gadissa Chaniada of Ethiopia stormed to first place, recording a time of one hour, ten minutes and 46 seconds. He was followed by Richard Kanyugi of Kenya, and Tom Whateley of Great Britain.
In the women's half-marathon, Rebecca Botwright of Great Britain, Bex Grace of New Zealand, and Fleur Kenward of Canada took first, second and third place, respectively.
More than 300 people competed in the half-marathon, which saw people run the length of the Corniche and back, twice.
Aaron Hollingshead, a US national who teaches cross country running at the American School of Doha, was the first across the line in the 10km race, recording an impressive time of 34 minutes, 40 seconds. He was followed by Lamri Saadaoui, of Algeria, and Nathan Riding of Great Britain.
In the women's race, Katherine Houston of the USA, Beth MacGregor of Great Britain, and Tanja Kozelka of Germany took the top places.
A total of 800 people took part in the 10k run.
Prizes were awarded to the best runners in a range of categories, based on age and gender.
Fatima Sultan Al Kuwari, Director of Public Relations, Qtel, said: "It has been a fantastic day when the whole community has come together to celebrate sport and contribute to building a healthier lifestyle for all. We've had children, students, teachers, employees, managers and people in their golden years running together and showing the world that Qatar supports sport for all. We're hoping that the Qtel Marathon will become a tradition that people will return to support ever year."
In the children's race, Zaid Al Qatami from Qatar came first in the 15-17 year old category; Hirohito Neves came first in the 12-14 category; Seif Nadhmi Jari came first in the 8-11 category; and Hamad Al Ansari in the under-eights. Nearly 100 children ran the 1k race.
Teams from businesses, universities, schools and athletic clubs took part. All entry fees will be donated to the Red Crescent to support their activities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Qtel formally thanked all the Qatari organisations who supported the race, including the Qatar Red Crescent; the Ministry of Interior and Traffic Department; the Museum of Islamic Art for providing the venue and all the people who came out to support the race.
A full list of all runners and their times is available at http://www.premiertiming.com/res/events/Qtel_Marathon_Doha_2013.
Qtel plans to expand the race to a full marathon in 2014, and make the race an annual event in Qatar.