Over 20,000 runners have taken on the challenge of the Doha Marathon by Ooredoo, and this year, many intent to join them.
Around 8,000 runners are preparing for the much-awaited Ooredoo Marathon, scheduled to start in less than a week’s time.
Qatar’s most popular marathon, held annually since 2013, is finally coming back with yet another exciting challenge for all running enthusiasts in Doha. And as usual, the prize it holds is worth the effort.
“We’re rightfully proud that the Doha Marathon by Ooredoo is consistently one of the most popular events on Doha’s calendar year after year, but this pride must be shared with our invaluable sponsors, without whom we would be unable to present the race,” said Moza Khalid al-Muhannadi, director CSR, Sponsorship and Media at Ooredoo, at a press conference.
“We look forward to putting on yet another incredible event for Doha and for everyone taking part. Best of luck in the race.”
Some participants have told Doha News that the event, set to kick off on January 20, serves as a great motivation for them to improve their physical abilities and stamina to compete. Every year, it is a stronger challenge to be better.
“I participated two years ago for the first time and since then I always look forward to it. This year I even planned my workouts in a way that would make me faster and stronger to finish the full marathon,” Al Jazi, a two-time participant, said.
“I ran a lot of marathons abroad, but this one is different. You almost know everyone around you and it is such a warm, supportive environment. I can’t wait to reach the finish line.”
Others have praised Qatar’s efforts to organise such events that encourage sports and an active lifestyle. Over the past years, the Gulf state has focused extensively on promoting sports and physical activity as part of its 2030 vision.
World-class facilities have been built, major tournaments have been hosted, and various events have been taking place on an almost monthly basis, with great turnout from the community.
Qatar also holds Sports Day in high regards, declaring it an official national holiday to promote being active. Ooredoo marathon, on the other hand, is one of the most prominent national running event in the country.
“Every year I encourage more people to join me, and despite how hard it is, they all love it and come back. It’s one of those things that make you feel rewarded, and pushes you to achieve more and more,” Mohammed Hanni, a physical fitness instructor, told Doha News.
“I’ve been training a lot, so I’m very excited to hopefully break my own record this year.”
Start, end and timing
For this year, Al Jazi, as well as other runners, will start at Parade Pavilion, The Amir’s Grandstand in Al Corniche, and proceed to Katara, Lusail, and back to Al Corniche after the race.
The full marathon will begin at 6.15am, and the half marathon will follow at 7am. Starting at 8.30am, the 10km category will kick off, while the 5km will start at 9.30am.
Finally, at 10.30am, the 1-kilometre category for children will begin.
The 2023 marathon bags a total price of approximately QAR 1 million for all categories, and everyone who finishes their category will receive a medal to mark the achievement.
Special prizes will be awarded to Qatari entrants in each category.
Al-Muhannadi also disclosed that there would be a raffle with an SUV up for grabs. All competitors in the 5km, 10km, 21km, and 42km categories who cross the finish line will be entered into a raffle to win a Volkswagen T-Roc.
Those interested can register online on Ooredoo’s platform. Prices vary depending on the km as follows:
42 km: QAR 250
21 km: QAR 200
10 km and 5 km: QAR 150
5 km junior (13-17 year olds): QAR 100
1 km (kids under 13 years old): QAR 50
The map for each category route can be found here.