DOHA, Qatar: The fourth edition of Al Adaid Desert Challenge, set to take place on March 1, is expected to be the biggest-ever in the history of the one-day outdoor annual event.
The first few weeks of registration saw more than 250 adventurous cyclists and runners from Qatar and all over the world signing up for the challenge which will take them through one of the few places in the world where the sea encroaches deep into the heart of the desert.
Taking place in Khor Al Adaid, a UNESCO recognised nature reserve in the south-east of Qatar, the race will start from the area next to Mawater Sand Dune, opposite to Sealine beach resort. Participants will then head towards the Inland Sea, a tranquil expanse of water that can only be reached by crossing the rolling sand dunes.
Cyclists will have to overcome seven of these dunes as they cover a distance of 38.5 kms to reach the finish line while runners will follow a 26.7 km route that includes four dunes.
The UCI MTB Class-3 event is organized by Qatar Cyclists in association with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and is supported by Qatar Cycling Federation.
“The Al Adaid Desert Challenge attracts visitors and residents to one of Qatar’s most impressive natural wonders by offering a unique challenge, exciting sports and fun activities for families. We are proud to continue supporting this annual event which has steadily grown over the years, and promises to contribute to the country’s efforts to develop the sports tourism sub-sector in Qatar,” said Rashed Al Qurese from QNTC.
A finish line camp will provide an area for the participants to relax and celebrate after the race while a non-competitive kids’ race at the camp will offer a chance for all members of the family to enjoy the event.
“We are glad to collaborate once again with QNTC for organizing this remarkable event which reinforces Qatar’s reputation as a destination for adventure sports enthusiasts. It offers the participants a unique chance to explore the beauty of Qatar’s nature,” said Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, Managing Director of Al Adaid Desert.