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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
ALULA — EcoTrail AlUla, the multi-track running race through the picturesque nature of AlUla, was held on Feb. 8 and attracted more than 260 athletes from around the world. The top-ranked athletes were from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United States, and the Netherlands. The race was among the activities of the second season of the Winter at Tantora Festival. The Royal Commission for AlUla organized the festival to promote AlUla as an exceptional tourist destination for heritage, arts, culture, and sports.
The race took place on three different tracks with the longest being a 83-km track, followed by a 45-km and a 10 km-track with a group of international athletes taking part in each of the races.
In the 10-km course, 139 contestants participated in the competition, and 125 of them managed to end the run. Saudi runner Mohammed Madkhali won first place, while Yemeni runner Fares Aman Aldin came in second place; another Saudi runner, Meshari Almuhanna, came in third place. In the women's category, American runner Meredith Byrne won first place, Saudi runner Sarah Abdullatif came in second, and British runner Maureen McConnell came in third.
Ninety athletes participated in the 45-km race, and 85 of them managed to finish. Saudi runner Abdulaziz Alghamdi came in first, with Australian Matthew Sudich coming second and French runner Nicholas Mordelet in third place. In the women's category, Dutch runner Floortje Rawee came in first place, followed by Italian Alessandra Grassi in second place, and American Natasha Turak in third place.
The longest race, which was 83-km long, saw 37 athletes participate and only 17 of them finish. In the men's category was Michael Wardian from America in first, followed by Pierre Breuer from Belgium in second place and then Malaysia's Soonseng Ong in third. In the women's category, Amy Sproston from America ranked first, with Ruth Theresia from Indonesia coming second and American Rachel Bessette ranking third.
EcoTrail AlUla attracted athletes from several countries around the world, most notably the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Singapore, Jordan, Oman, Peru, Poland, and Indonesia.
The one-day trail gave the visitors the opportunity to become acquainted with AlUla and its distinctive natural, cultural, architectural, and historical monuments through timed jogging. The trail also acts as a pleasant and attractive destination for running enthusiasts and jogging clubs, and it will be a catalyst that encourages people to visit AlUla and Saudi Arabia to participate in a global sporting event that promotes environmentally friendly principles and initiatives.The race contained several medical care stops and catering stations, and each participant received a number in addition to a welcome gift and a shirt. An inaugural dinner was held to welcome the contestants on the eve of the race.
EcoTrail AlUla is an international race that takes place in many parts of the world, and this is the first race to ever occur in the Middle East, it wa one of the most notable sports events of this year's Winter at Tantora Festival. The race was sponsored by STC, Almarai Company, Sabeeka Energy Bar, Whites, and Hussak Adventures. The festival’s latest season also provides a wide range of diverse experiences that meet the needs of all visitors and entertain all tastes, for individuals, groups or families from all walks of life.
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