Muscat: Oman’s long-distance runner, Hamed Al Harthi, has returned from the Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB® race with a lot of experience.
The race which started in the snowy peaks of the French Alps to the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea in Nice had its diverse set of challenging conditions but determined Al Harthi pushed the limits to complete 115km out of the 165km distance in 33 hours but had to withdraw due to injury.
From the start to the withdrawal point, Hamed accumulated a total elevation of 6,500 metres, with the conditions ranging from terrestrial rains, slippery slopes to frost, but with 51km still to go he was left with no option but to stop running.
He said, “Immediately after the start of the race there was a very steep hill with 1,600 metres in elevation, from the summit of 2,600 metres we crossed the peak in extreme cold conditions and I fell a couple of times on the rocks. At night the weather became treacherous, and I could not feel my fingers. After more than 115km the pain in my hands and the blisters in my feet was too much and unbearable, so I decided to withdraw to prevent further injuries.”
“It was tough, very challenging, but I have learned a lot and will continue to train for the next challenge,” he added.
Oman was also represented by a host of star runners and promising athletes likeSaud Al Nasibi, Naama Al Hashhmi, Sami Al Saidi, Essam Al Zadjali, Issa Al Abri, Hamed Al Qassabi and Yahya Al Abri, who all gave their best performance in tough ultra run.
Despite this setback, 64-year-old Hamed is certain this experience will not be the last of his illustrious ultra-marathon career.
Speaking upon his return to Oman, he was enthusiastic about learning a lot from this race and his desire to continue training. Hamed is a lifelong runner and has finished many of the world’s most challenging races, including Oman by UTMB® in 2018, Argentina’s Ushuaia by UTMB® in 2019 and UTMB® Mont Blanc 2021.
He has also reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and completed the epic 560km ‘Border to Coast’ challenge from Um Zumul, where the borders of Oman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates converge, to Sur in eight days. He was supported by Vodafone Oman in this venture in Nice, France.