To help promote healthy living in Qatar, the Al Sadd Sports Club is urging residents to participate in a potentially record-breaking marathon on Feb. 6, a few days ahead of the country’s National Sport Day.
Under the slogan “Run with Qatar,” organizers of the Qatar Mega-Marathon 2015 hope to draw in some 50,000 attendees to participate in the 21.1km half-marathon. The aim is to also simultaneously break the Guinness World Record for the most runners in a single marathon, which is currently held by the US.
In an email to Doha News, Khalid Yasean, a member of the event’s organizing team, explained that the event aimed to promote social inclusion and integration through sport, adding:
“The marathon is a unique model for it is not just a race but it embraces historical, educational and cultural associations and possibilities. (It also) emphasizes the importance of the participation of people with special needs in social events, and enhances their role in building a healthy and prosperous future for…Qatar.”
There is no registration fee for the event.
When asked how organizers hoped to attract their ambitious goal of 50,000 participants, Yasean stated that the team had a “brilliant strategy in the operational plan” to pull in the crowd, but declined to divulge any specifics.
He added that the team was working with the “Internal ministry and the army ministry” to implement its marketing and PR strategies.
The marathon is the second held in Qatar this year. Earlier this month, some 3,250 people participated in the third Ooredoo marathon, held from the Katara Cultural Village until Omar Al Mukhtar Street in West Bay and back.
The mega-marathon will be held from noon to 7pm on Feb. 6.
It will follow a set route on the National Day Ceremonial Road in Al Refaa, with participants completing half the distance before turning around and heading back to the initial starting point.
According to Yasean, water, food, and first aid stations will line the route, and runners will be provided with fruit and refreshments during the event.
Interested participants can register online, or at kiosks set up at the Al Sadd Sports Club and at various malls on the day of the event. While registration is free of charge, runners are required to sign a declaration of health in order to be eligible to participate.
According to the event’s website, the marathon will be lead by “well-known international runners.” All participants, athletes and volunteers will be required to wear an issued “costumed uniform (with) the Qatar flag…(and) the logo of (the) Al Sadd Sports Club and (other) participating institutions.”
Winners will receive awards and certificates, and a closing ceremony will be held on Feb. 10 – National Sports Day – at the Al Sadd Sports Club.
There are several guidelines that marathon organizers will need to follow to set the Guinness World Record of most runners at a single marathon.
A dedicated weblink to the official race results must be submitted to the Guinness committee as evidence of the final count.
If the validity of the results are called into question, race organizers are then required to submit additional documents.
Those include a written statement by organizers confirming their professional status, and a document from timekeepers that the distance requirements were met.
Only registered participants who make it to the finish line will be counted toward the final tally. Other requirements include:
- All attendance numbers must be confirmed by a counting method pre-approved by the Guinness board;
- Uncut, time-stamped video footage of all entrances and exits to the route, with the counting method clearly visible in the frame of the video, must be submitted;
- Participants leaving the race area before the world record attempt is made are to be deducted from the final count, and runners cannot be counted twice;
- The entire attempt must be filmed, and a full aerial photograph of all participants in addition to standard photos of the event must be submitted; and
- As the mega marathon consists of more than 5,000 people, a professional auditing firm is also required as the event’s independent witness.
Auditors present at the event will be asked to send a statement outlining the details of verification and the final total to the Guinness World Records committee.
Do you plan to sign up? Thoughts?