To help promote healthy living in Qatar, the Al Sadd Sports Club is urging residents to participate in a potentially record-breaking marathon on Feb. 6, a few days ahead of the country’s National Sport Day.
Under the slogan “Run with Qatar,” organizers of the Qatar Mega-Marathon 2015 hope to draw in some 50,000 attendees to participate in the 21.1km half-marathon. The aim is to also simultaneously break the Guinness World Record for the most runners in a single marathon, which is currently held by the US.
In an email to Doha News, Khalid Yasean, a member of the event’s organizing team, explained that the event aimed to promote social inclusion and integration through sport, adding:
“The marathon is a unique model for it is not just a race but it embraces historical, educational and cultural associations and possibilities. (It also) emphasizes the importance of the participation of people with special needs in social events, and enhances their role in building a healthy and prosperous future for…Qatar.”
There is no registration fee for the event.
When asked how organizers hoped to attract their ambitious goal of 50,000 participants, Yasean stated that the team had a “brilliant strategy in the operational plan” to pull in the crowd, but declined to divulge any specifics.
He added that the team was working with the “Internal ministry and the army ministry” to implement its marketing and PR strategies.
The marathon is the second held in Qatar this year. Earlier this month, some 3,250 people participated in the third Ooredoo marathon, held from the Katara Cultural Village until Omar Al Mukhtar Street in West Bay and back.
The mega-marathon will be held from noon to 7pm on Feb. 6.
It will follow a set route on the National Day Ceremonial Road in Al Refaa, with participants completing half the distance before turning around and heading back to the initial starting point.
According to Yasean, water, food, and first aid stations will line the route, and runners will be provided with fruit and refreshments during the event.
Interested participants can register online, or at kiosks set up at the Al Sadd Sports Club and at various malls on the day of the event. While registration is free of charge, runners are required to sign a declaration of health in order to be eligible to participate.
According to the event’s website, the marathon will be lead by “well-known international runners.” All participants, athletes and volunteers will be required to wear an issued “costumed uniform (with) the Qatar flag…(and) the logo of (the) Al Sadd Sports Club and (other) participating institutions.”
Winners will receive awards and certificates, and a closing ceremony will be held on Feb. 10 – National Sports Day – at the Al Sadd Sports Club.
There are several guidelines that marathon organizers will need to follow to set the Guinness World Record of most runners at a single marathon.
A dedicated weblink to the official race results must be submitted to the Guinness committee as evidence of the final count.
If the validity of the results are called into question, race organizers are then required to submit additional documents.
Those include a written statement by organizers confirming their professional status, and a document from timekeepers that the distance requirements were met.
Only registered participants who make it to the finish line will be counted toward the final tally. Other requirements include:
- All attendance numbers must be confirmed by a counting method pre-approved by the Guinness board;
- Uncut, time-stamped video footage of all entrances and exits to the route, with the counting method clearly visible in the frame of the video, must be submitted;
- Participants leaving the race area before the world record attempt is made are to be deducted from the final count, and runners cannot be counted twice;
- The entire attempt must be filmed, and a full aerial photograph of all participants in addition to standard photos of the event must be submitted; and
- As the mega marathon consists of more than 5,000 people, a professional auditing firm is also required as the event’s independent witness.
Auditors present at the event will be asked to send a statement outlining the details of verification and the final total to the Guinness World Records committee.
Do you plan to sign up? Thoughts?
Why don’t they call it what it is? A Half Marathon. It looks to be a totally uninspiring u-turn course around nothing. The only thing going for it is that it’s free. Goodluck breaking the record, you might need to pay and prod some labourers to get across the line. If you can’t fill a 40,000 seat stadium for the Asia cup final (without using labourers), they will have to search long and hard to find 50,000 people to complete a 21.1km run.
Im all for getting people running but would be amazed if they achieve their goal.
Whaaa whaaa keep whining lol
being realistic and whining are 2 different things…..how come you don’t get it?
That worked out well for you, didn’t it!
Ah…but you forget. They have a brilliant strategy that they are not willing to disclose.
‘the team had a “brilliant strategy in the operational plan” to pull in the crowd’
I guess this will involve lots of buses from the Industrial Area and security at each exit point to stop participants from leaving except through the finish line.
Another World Record sponsored by an alcoholic drinks company bought by Qatar.
You predicted this three month ago? Wow!
The recent ooredoo races started an hour late, apparently because the police hadn’t closed the roads in time. This was also the case with one of the Aspire 10Ks last year. I have never seen this in any other country. Qatar will have to get better organised if it wants to achieve something like this (to say nothing of a world cup).
The comments are and will be so negative, as usual.
Come on Osama… Can you really see this many people fitting on that road to start off with let alone picking up their pre ordered race numbers and timing chips before the event starts?
You don’t know anything
uugh the last person on earth I’ll try explain anything too is you heh
Then enlighten the others. I’ll just watch. You make inane statements like “You don’t know anything” and you dis ME?
What are you saying, I’m confused
Deleted for personal attack, and subsequent thread.
Agreed. I ran one in the US that included over 13K participants. The crowds were intense and the logistics were pretty astounding to pull that off with a year for the city to prepare. There’s no way they can do this in Qatar without busing in laborers and forcing them to complete the course. Poor guys. They truly bear the brunt of Qatar’s vanity on a regular basis.
Seven hours for the race? That’s plenty of time to bus them all in. Almost anyone could complete that distance in seven hours if they are paid or forced to do it. And who starts a half marathon at noon? This is not a race geared toward runners. I nearly had a twinge of interest until I read that they want everyone to wear a uniform with the Qatar flag. No thanks. Another conceited attempt at a meaningless record. Who comes up with these ideas?
I get your frustration with the negativity.
But surely you agree there is a better way to handle this sort of event. As someone who enjoys running for pleasure, I worry that badly organized events like this just put people off. The point should be about health and fitness. Nothing wrong with a few gimmicks, but don’t let the gimmicks drive the event.
But seriously are 50,000 people here ready to run a marathon at 3 weeks notice?
6 weeks notice (apparently there was a previous announcement on 23rd Dec).
Can I point out that just 120 people completed the Ooredoo (42.2km) Marathon, I’ll probably turn up for this HALF marathon, but I don’t anticipate getting crushed by 49,999 other runners. (But I’d be happy to be proved wrong.)
Great idea, just drop the record breaking attempt from it and start earlier when cooler. The record breaking idea really ruins the whole thing and makes it about Qatar vanity rather then health. Sure if you want to break the record, go for it but prepare properly, have a couple of races and build up to it by learning from them in a logistics, marketing, planning prospective.
Thank you! I just don’t get it. Why do the sponsors have to strive to break a record that will probably result in a badly organized event that will discourage people from attending a future fitness event.
What is with this world record craze? I think i preferred it more when these guys were focused on adding inches in towers to compete. Good luck to everyone running!
I must admit being a bit cynical at first. But why not go for a record? Bringing in groups of people from the Military is fair. So is using labor as long as they are given fair compensation and are not forced to run in this event. After all running a marathon is probably easy for the typical laborer. I’m looking at it as a chance to get close with my brother ex-pats and hopefully get some decent free give aways. I need a long run about 1 month out from my competitive attempt at a marathon in mid march so hey.. this is it!! Thank you Qatar and the organizers for being ambitious! As far as vanity and self promotion… No other nations do this. right?
Im pretty sure no other NATION has created a running event to break a world record. Also It would be totally unethical to compensate anyone for completing a HALF marathon.
“After all running a marathon is probably easy for the typical laborer.”
This comment pretty much sums up “Tim Thompson” who has nothing to do with promoting this event.
So when they fill sections of stands for track and field events.. you don’t suppose there was some compensation? The Chinese government is pro at utilizing Guinness and other organizations to establish and promote record breaking events as I have first hand knowledge this. Remember that Qatar is a small country advocating for itself. If they don’t do it. Who will? I guess I’m thankful for a blocked off road, freebies and another “excuse” to do one thing I absolutely love doing. Run.
Good for them for promoting much-needed health and fitness, but how is this a ‘mega’ marathon when it is only half a marathon?
I don’t see how busing in laborers and soldiers to fill out the numbers is going to help the goal of promoting nationwide fitnesses. Presumably both are already fit. Nor does a secret plan for promoting it help. If you want high attendance the plan needs be evident.
With it being a few weeks away, any promotional plan that is still a secret is a major fail on their part. Last minute untrained participants can really endanger themselves.
This is good ! Will be running my first half marathon
did they break the record? awesome. way to go.
So… Was The record broken?