The inaugural edition of Oman by UTMB, a 137K trail ultramarathon through the Akhdar mountain range in Oman and finishing in Al Hamra, took place Thursday through Saturday. Running against athletes from 57 countries, American Jason Schlarb tied with Swiss runner Diego ‘Zpeedy’ Pazos with a time of 20:45:37, working together for the last 20K and crossing the finish line with their arms around each other. Aleksei Tolstenko of Russia was third, finishing 42 minutes later.

 

British runner Anna-Marie Watson, a former captain in the British Army, finished in ninth place overall and was the first female, with a time of 26:20:27. Ildiko Wermescher of Germany finished second in the women’s race, and American Meredith Edwards was third.

 

RELATED: Masters ultrarunners triumph at UTMB

This was the first UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc) race to take place in the Middle East. The dramatic course took runners through a variety of terrain including ancient villages, desert, mountain ridges, and a climb up the 2,200m Jebel Akhdar, Oman’s “Green Mountain.” Pazos said it was the most challenging race he has ever done.

 

The next international UTMB race is Ushuaia by UTMB, which will take place in Argentina from April 5 to 7, 2019. Registrations are at  over 300 so far. Race distances include 35K (with 2,400m of vertical gain), 50K (3,000m), 70K (5,400m) and 130K (8,200m).

Registration for the 2020 Gaoligong by UTMB (China) will open on March 20, 2019.

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