Dubai to Tehran: Rise of Middle East marathons

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Have you run a marathon in the GCC?

As the statistic box shows below, when it comes to marathon running, there’s plenty of options across the GCC.

Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar and of course, last but by no means least, Dubai, all host annual running events.

Most recently, the Iranian capital Tehran confirmed it will host its first marathon in April, the 1st Tehran International Marathon – proving yet again that the appetite for running is growing.

Read our full Inside Story on the 42.195km run in Iran.

THE GCC’S RUNNING MAP

What has your GCC marathon-running experience been like?

Let us know!

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook or Instagram.

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Thousands take part in ultimate trail-running event

Running paradise: What a turnout!

A record line-up of 3,200 athletes from around the world took part in The North Face 100 Thailand 2017 on February 4 in Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima.

Launched in 2012, when trail running was a little known sport in the country, the event has since grown to become the largest of its kind and is part of the annual Asia Pacific Series.

Tough conditions, with temperatures exceeding 36 degrees centigrade during the day, made for a challenging event for all runners across the five distances – 15km, 25km, 50km, 75km and 100km.

With 1,144 runners competing in the ultra distances (50km, 75km, 100km) this year, Thailand's hopes were pinned on Sanya Khanchai (2013, 2014 winner) and Jantaraboon Kiangchaipaiphana in the 100km. Following a break out performance just three weeks before at the Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail® Race – one of the signature events on the Ultra-Trail® World Tour – Jantaraboon put in an excellent performance at The North Face 100 Thailand to finish second behind Chiang Mai-based Harry Jones (GBR), who claimed the 100km title in a time of 09h 26m 24s. Sanya finished a credible sixth in a field of top talent from 21 countries. In the female division it was a close race for the top spot between Phitchanan Mahachot (THA) and Kylie Ayson (NZL). Previously based in Hong Kong and having trained on the mountainous trails there, Kylie pushed Phitchanan hard but in the searing heat it was the Thai athlete who crossed the line first in a time of 12h 34mins 26secs, with the fast finishing Kylie less than 10 minutes behind. Following 50km wins in 2015 and 2016, Naomi Imaizumi (JPN) stepped up to 75km – new for The North Face 100 Thailand 2017 – this year and asserted her authority again, romping home with a winning margin of more than three hours while Jisub Kim (KOR) placed first in the men's field in a time of 06h 54m 25s. Another breakout performance, this time for Sunimit Ngandee (THA) – training partner of Jantaraboon – competing for the first time at The North Face 100® Thailand, Sunimit took home the 50km title against a top international field. In the female division, Thailand-based Carole Fuchs – also competing for the first time – delivered a crushing performance, finishing one hour ahead of her nearest rival and second overall – less than one minute behind the male winner! The largest fields of competitors were the 25km and 15km distances with 1,137 and 930 runners respectively. Considered Thailand's Ultimate Trail Running Challenge, the event attracts runners from all over the world each year and has put Thailand on the map as a top trail-running destination in Asia. For more information, visit www.TheNorthFaceThailand.com, or www.facebook.com/TNF100Thailand. Full results are available at www.sportstats.asia.

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Record numbers for Dubai's Bloomberg Square Mile Relay

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Are you competing?

The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay Dubai is just around the corner and organisers have confirmed there will be a record number of companies taking to the start line on Wednesday, February 8th.

With under a week to go until the event, organisers are urging companies to sign up fast for this one-of-a-kind immersive team-building experience and create some friendly competition on the specially designed running route at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Known for attracting some of the most influential firms to its races worldwide, the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay will see up to 100 of Dubai’s companies, in teams of 10, take on the unique one mile (1.6km) running route around the iconic Gate Building at DIFC – the official venue partner.

This ultimate corporate relay race always culminates in an after party. This year it will be hosted by Bazxar, DIFC, the relay’s official hospitality partner. Bazxar will provide quality catering for all race participants and guests in the race village, and following the prize giving ceremony, will invite everyone to their venue to celebrate in style whilst listening to a live DJ with complimentary beverages for runners and discounts for all guests.

Bazxar DIFC will be joined by a number of other sponsors and partners including headline sponsor Bloomberg, venue partner DIFC, wellness partner Valiant Clinic, automotive partner Maserati, media partners Bloomberg Businessweek and Elevision, and radio partner Dubai Eye 103.8.

For further information on the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay or to enter a team please visit the website at www.squaremilerelay.com/dubai.

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