Muscat, World record marathon champion

Paula Radcliffe is to be the international figurehead for the eighth

edition of the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon in the Sultanate of Oman’s

capital next January.

The multiple marathon winning British athlete has taken on the

ambassadorial role to promote the increasingly popular event, which

has seen a record number of runners in each successive year since

2012, with more than 6,000 taking part earlier this year.

The iconic former marathon, half-marathon and cross-country

world champion � whose Women’s World Record time of 2:15:25 set in

2003 remains unbroken � aims to encourage greater participation by

runners from both Oman and the wider regional and worldwide athletic

community in the now internationally recognised event.

Throughout my career I have set myself goals and then tried to

achieve them, and by becoming an ambassador for the Al Mouj Muscat

Marathon I hope I can inspire others, particularly women, to take on the

challenge, said Radcliffe.

My childhood running coach used to say ‘aim for the moon because if

you miss you will land on the stars’, and that is a great philosophy for

running and for life. The Al Mouj Muscat Marathon is a fantastic

opportunity for people to train, get healthier and take part in an

inspiring event.

Radcliffe will introduce and flag-off the start of the Al Mouj

Muscat Marathon itself on Friday, 18 January 2019, and then take part

in the 10k event.

Alongside the marathon and 10k races, the two-day festival of

running will also feature half-marathon and marathon relay categories,

a 5k charity fun run and a Kids’ Run.

We are delighted that Paula has agreed to become our ambassador

for the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon, said Salma al-Hashmi, Chief

Marketing Officer of event organiser, Oman Sail.

Paula is a legendary figure in the marathon world and beyond and

she will play a vital role in further highlighting what is now

internationally recognised as a world-class celebration of health and

fitness.

The Al Mouj Muscat Marathon has seen record-breaking numbers

in each successive year since it was first held in 2012. This year saw

over 6,000 runners representing no fewer than 87 nationalities across

all the categories � a 370 per cent increase on 2017 � and organisers

Oman Sail are targeting a further step-change in 2019.

At the same time, a long-term development plan has a target of

15,000 participants by 2022, with at least 20 per cent travelling from

overseas as a result of Oman’s growing reputation as a premier sports

tourism destination.

The 2018 edition was formally recognised by world running’s

international governing body the Association of International Marathons

and Distance Races (AIMS), and the Muscat coastal course was

certified to International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF)

standards.

Before the 2019 marathon Radcliffe will come to the Sultanate for

an ‘experience Oman’ visit, which will take in Jebel Akhdar in the

breathtaking Al Hajar Mountain range, the popular turquoise pools of

Wadi Shab, a diving trip to the internationally acclaimed Damaniyat

Islands, and a tour of Muscat including the Royal Opera House

Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Muttrah Souq.

She will also meet schoolchildren and the public at special

‘Meet Paula’ sessions, provide training tips for the Al Mouj Muscat

Marathon, and get a sneak preview of sections of the course.

Registered runners will have the opportunity to be photographed

with her on Race Pack collection days before the marathon itself.

Radcliffe retired from competitive running in 2015. In her career

she won both the London and New York marathons on three

occasions, and has been European champion over 10,000m and in the

cross-country. Her numerous accolades include IAAF World Athlete of

the Year (2002), AIMS World Athlete of the Year (2002, 2003 and 2005)

and BBC Sports Personality of the Year. She was awarded the MBE in

2002.

Source: Oman News Agency