By Sam Bridge
World's best obstacle course racers will descend on Abu Dhabi in December when the emirate hosts the Spartan World Championship
The world's best obstacle course racers will descend on Abu Dhabi in December when the emirate hosts the Spartan World Championship for the first time.
The Spartan World Championship, hosted by Abu Dhabi Sports Council and powered By Rakuten, will take place outside of the US for the first time on December 4-5.
The Spartan Kids World Championship will also take place on the same weekend, state news agency WAM reported.
The announcement was made in New York City by Spartan Founder and CEO Joe De Sena and Spartan Women’s World Champion Nicole Mericle, who passed the event’s official flag to Aref Hamad Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council in the presence of UAE Consul General Abdullah Shaheen.
"Throughout the course of its eight-year history, we’ve held the Spartan World Championship in the US, and we’re excited to bring the global event to Abu Dhabi," said De Sena.
"We’re grateful for the support of Awani and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for hosting what will prove to be an epic World Championship weekend. Abu Dhabi has everything that Spartans dream of in a World Championship - epic and difficult terrain, incredible culture, and exotic desert adventures, just outside of an ultra-modern city full of activities. There's nowhere better for our inaugural World Championship on foreign soil."
The crown jewel of the weekend takes place Friday December 4, when qualified male and female elite racers descend on a desert race course outside of Abu Dhabi to compete for more than $120,000 in cash prizes.
The half-marathon-distance "Spartan Beast" will feature a mix of high-speed running, leg-burning steep climbs and breathtaking scenery with more than 30 signature Spartan obstacles including the Spear Throw, Barbed Wire Crawl, and Helix and Rope Climb.
With 2019 world champions Robert Killian and Nicole Mericle hailing from the US, endurance athletes from more than 50 countries across the globe are expected to participate in Abu Dhabi.
"It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Spartan World Championship will be staged in Abu Dhabi – for the first time ever outside the United States of America," said Al Awani.
"Abu Dhabi offers the participants a unique new landscape to conquer on the beautiful desert terrains and soft sand dunes befitting a competition of this nature."