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Legendary Yiannis Kouros, one of the biggest names in ultramarathons, will be present in Dubai to cheer on participants as they take part in the world's longest desert race, the 300-km Al Marmoom Ultramarathon, for a share of the $100,000 prize-purse

Kouros, 63, is often described as the modern-day Pheidippides, the Greek hero whose run from Marathon to Athens is the inspiration behind the Olympic sport of marathon. He has broken more than 160 world records in long-distance running, including the fastest 100-miles on roads, and the record for 1,000-km on both track and road, and 1,000 miles on road. He also set a new mark for the 875km Sydney to Melbourne Utramarathon in 1985, crossing the finish line in 5 days, 5 hours, 7 minutes and 6 seconds.

"I'm really excited to be coming to Dubai this December to see desert ultra-running history being made, when ultra-runners from around the world race across 300km of tough desert terrain," said Kouros, who is also remembered for breaking six wold records in the New York City Six-Day Race in 1984.

He added: "Dubai has created the ultimate endurance running event and I'd like to say well done to Dubai Sports Council for organizing such an epic event that any long distance runner would love to take on.

"Dubai is the place to be this December to witness the world's best take on the world's longest desert ultramarathon - AMUM19."

Welcoming Kouros to Dubai and the 2019 Al Marmoom Ultramarathon, Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council, said: "Yiannis Kouros is one of the legends of ultra-running and his presence here for the 2019 Al Marmoom Ultramarathon will be a huge inspiration for all the participants. He is a true legend of the sport and a modern-day Pheidippides indeed, and we are looking forward to welcoming him to Dubai.

"The world's best endurance and ultra-runners, including the two defending champions Rachid El Mourabity and Magdalena Boulet, have already confirmed their spots for the second edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon.

"The first edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon was a huge success with elite ultra-runners from 48 countries taking part in the 270km race. Media from around the globe covered the event, while CNN International flew down a team to Dubai for the event. This year, the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is going to be even bigger and better. The distance has been increased to 300-km, and so the competition is going to be stiffer.

"The Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve is the perfect place to host an event like this and the Ultramarathon provides participants with a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and tranquility of our deserts."

Alongside the main event, the grueling 300-km Ultramarathon, the race also offers lesser distances of 110km and 50km to encourage endurance runners from the UAE and region to participate. The 300-km race will be completed in 5 days and over four separate routes starting from the base camp situated in Al Qudra. The 110km race will be a non-stop 24 hour run, while the 50-km race will be completed in one day.

All three races are self-sufficient with water and tents supplied, as well as medical and safety support given. Top rankings and special recognition winners in all three races will get a share of the prize money, while all finishers will receive medals and T-shirts.

(09/25/2019) ⚡AMP
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Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Launched under the initiative of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of DubaiHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve will host the world's longest desert ultra-run Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon. Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a 300km, 100km and 50km race across desert terrain and will be held 11th to 15th December...

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Two defending champions Rachid El Mourabity and Magdalena Boulet, will be back in Dubai to defend their Al Marmoom Ultramarathon title

El Mourabity of Morocco and American Boulet took the men's and women's crown in the inaugural edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon last December with El Mourabity clocking 31 hours, 17 minutes and 29 seconds across the four-day and 270-km race, and Boulet finishing with a time of 37:27:59.

Both have now confirmed, along with a number of other elite ultra-runners, for the second edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon, which will be a longer 300-km race and spread across five days with a prize purse of $100,000.

"Some of the world's best endurance and ultramarathon runners, including the defending champions Rachid El Mourabity and Magdalena Boulet, will be back in Dubai to take part in the second edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon," said Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council.

"The first edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon was a huge success with elite ultra-runners from 48 countries taking part in the 270km race. Media from around the globe covered the event, while CNN International flew down a team to Dubai to cover the race and the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation.

"This year, the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is going to be even bigger and better. The distance has been increased to 300-km, and so the competition is going to be stiffer. We have developed a special GPS system to track participants this year and there will be drones covering the full race. We will have a much bigger race headquarters as well and a lot more tents for athletes to relax in.

"The Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a translation of the guidance of our wise leadership to take advantage of the many opportunities that the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation offers and to encourage all segments of our society to use the Al Marmoom for their sports and outdoor activities. The Reserve is the perfect place to host this challenging event and provides participants with a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and tranquillity of our deserts."

Alongside the main event, the gruelling 300-km Ultramarathon, the race also offers lesser distances of 110-km and 50-km to encourage endurance runners from the UAE and region to participate. The 300-km race will be completed in five days and over four separate routes starting from the base camp situated in Al Qudra. The 110-km race will be a non-stop 24 hour run, while the 50-km race will be completed in one day.

All three races are self-sufficient with water and tents supplied, as well as medical and safety support given. Top rankings and special recognition winners in all three races will receive prize money, and all finishers will receive medals and t shirts.

The organisers are encouraging runners who wish to sign up and prepare for the event to join the weekly 'build up runs' training programme, which will start Friday, August 30, and run for 12 weeks leading up to the main event.

(08/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Launched under the initiative of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of DubaiHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve will host the world's longest desert ultra-run Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon. Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a 300km, 100km and 50km race across desert terrain and will be held 11th to 15th December...

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The winner of the 300km Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is going to win $100,000 at this year ultra event

If you thought a 270km race through the desert wasn’t long enough, well your wish has just come true, as this year’s longest desert race in the world has added an extra 30km to it.

The Al Marmoom Ultramarathon 2019 is upping its length this year to 300km.  And is offering $100,000 (more than Dhs360,000) for the winner.

The race will place over five days from Monday December 9 until Friday 13, the world’s longest desert race will see some of the world’s most famous ultra-runners come to Dubai to battle it out over tough desert terrain.

This year will see three distances, including the incredible 300km race set to be completed in five days and over four separate routes starting from the base camp situated in Al Qudra. Just a casual 60km per day, through the desert.The 110km race will be a non-stop 24-hour run through day and night, while the 50km race is to be completed in one day.Tents will be pitched throughout the course and there will be water rations on the route and in the camp.

A medical team of doctors and paramedics will also be supervising the race, in case of injury or exhaustion.“The UAE is home to some of the world’s most-seasoned and experienced desert ultra-runners and we are encouraging UAE based ultra-runners to enter all three distances as well as team entries for the 50km distance,” said event director Ruth Dickinson.

In it for the experience and not the cash? Those who finish the incredible race will get a medal and a t-shirt so you can show off to everyone you completed it. Well earned.The first edition saw elite runners from 48 countries race over 270km in four days.

(08/01/2019) ⚡AMP
by Darragh Murphy
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Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Launched under the initiative of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of DubaiHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve will host the world's longest desert ultra-run Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon. Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a 300km, 100km and 50km race across desert terrain and will be held 11th to 15th December...

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168 mile Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is one of the world’s longest desert ultras

Set in a rugged national conservation area, the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon claims to be one of the longest desert ultra in the world. The 270km (168 mile) route was run over five days in December in temperatures as high as 35C (95F),.

In its inaugural year, 19 runners (15 men and four women) completed the race, with 36-year-old Moroccan Rachid El Morabity -- a six-time Marathon des Sables winner -- crossing the finish line first in 31 hours and 17 minutes. Eleven runners didn't make it, as well as many others in the shorter 100 km and 50 km versions of the race.

Race manager Ole Brom oversaw of the health and wellbeing of the runners.   Running these distances across energy-sapping sand amounts to an extreme sport, the Norwegian told CNN, and "not something that is taken on lightly."

"On the first day after about 40 km, about 12 km from the end, (one athlete) collapsed unconscious," says Brom. "He ignored the signs of dehydration and he suffered the consequences."

Stretches of the race, including one 100-kilometer leg, were only accessible by air for first responders, explained event director Ruth Dickinson. Athletes wore tracking devices and distress beacons and carried anti-venom pumps in case of snake bites.

Running across the dunes was not without its rewards. "(It's) really peaceful," says 45-year-old female race winner Magdalena Boulet, "(you) can't really see anything for miles and miles."

"It's mesmerizing," Brom adds. "On certain routes there were Oryx, there were sand gazelle, mountain gazelles. We saw eagles (and) a lot of different migrating birds." (As a designated conservation area, runners were penalized for dropping trash and required to bury human waste, should nature call.)

There were still smatterings of luxury, with racers provided hot water, tents and massages between stages. Brom says some athletes told him they'd return for the toilets alone.

The Al Marmoom Ultramarathon will join 400-plus local sporting events ranked by the Dubai Sports Council. Acting director of events Ghazi Al Madani says planning for 2019's race is already underway.

Brom believes transit hub Dubai could become a nexus for desert ultra runners, playing host to regular events in its "backyard." "Ten percent of the landmass of Dubai is sand," he adds, "so it makes perfect sense."

(06/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Tom Page
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Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Launched under the initiative of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of DubaiHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve will host the world's longest desert ultra-run Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon. Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a 300km, 100km and 50km race across desert terrain and will be held 11th to 15th December...

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Marios Giannakou from Greece was the youngest finisher in one of the most difficult races in the world at Al Marmoom

Marios Giannakou is a 26-year-old runner from the city of Drama in Macedonia, Greece. His extraordinary story of perseverance, as he transformed himself from a smoker into an ultra-fit runner, can serve as an inspiration to all.

He was the youngest finisher in one of the most difficult races in the world, the 270-kilometer (168 mile) “Ultra Marathon”, which took place in the deserts of Dubai between December 11–15.

Giannakou wasn’t always a fit athlete who loved challenges. Weighing more than average and a regular smoker, he changed his attitude and life and began running at the age of 22.

Speaking with the Greek Reporter, Giannakou says that he never saw running as a simple athletic competition, or a personal challenge where you try to achieve the fastest time.”It is an activity where you are on your own. You have the time to think and solve problems for yourself,” he says.

His ultra-long distance running adventure began in 2015, when he participated in several competitions in the region of Rhodopi in Greece’s Thrace. He ran distances of 82 kilometers (51 miles) and even 161 kilometers (100 miles) in separate races there.

In early 2018, he decided to run with his friend Chronis in the Arctic for the distance of 150 kilometers (93.2 miles). ”We finished together, we had the same time” he said proudly.

Asked about his decision to participate in Dubai’s Ultra-Marathon, Giannakou laughed.

”We saw the cold, now it was time to see how the desert is” he said, laughing over the extraordinary accomplishments he has had in less than one year.

(12/19/2018) ⚡AMP
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Moroccans won the world’s longest desert Al Marmoom ultra marathon in the men’s division

El Morabity finished the world’s longest desert Al Marmoom ultra marathon of 270 kilometers in under 32 hours (31:17:29), ahead of French runner Muriel Robert and Iranian runner Akbar Najdi Niryan.

In the women’s category, Moroccan Aziza Raji achieved finished second (40:03:20) behind American runner Magdalena Boulet (37:27:59), while Russian Oskana Riyapova finished third (42:17:43).

The sporting event brought together runners from 35 countries who specialize in endurance races.

The victory comes a week after Rachid El Morabity and his brother Mohammed scored Morocco a gold medal during the Oman Desert Marathon. The brothers won first and second places, respectively.

(12/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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