RIYADH: The world-famous Spartan obstacle race is to be staged in Riyadh next month, the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has announced.
The 2020 Riyadh Spartan event will take place at Dirab Motor Park from March 13 to 14, pushing competitors to the limits of physical endurance over a series of grueling courses.
Inspired by the warrior society of ancient Sparta, the first modern-day Spartan race took place in 2010 and has since grown to more than 2,500 annual events across 42 countries.
Aimed at all levels of ability and ages, the races, including the Spartans Kids category for children aged between four and 14, are the first of their kind to feature timing and global rankings and will test full-body strength, mental focus and endurance.
SFA President Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud said the federation was looking forward to presenting the event which would be “an exciting, adrenaline-packed challenge for those looking for an out-of-box fitness experience.”
He added that the races offered “remarkable” entertainment value for spectators and participants alike. “We’re probably the most excited for the Spartan Kids race days; building a healthy active community starts with kids getting up and out there in fun and interesting environments, and this is one race not to be missed.”
The Riyadh event will start with the women’s race day on Friday, March 13.
Spartan female participants will run alongside a girls-only (four to 14 years) race in a 5 km sprint, the shortest course, packed with more than 20 obstacles. Suited for athletes of all levels, it will include signature Spartan obstacles such as mud, water, fire, and barbed wire.
The men will race on Saturday, March 14, running with boys aged from four to 14. The Spartan Super race will be a middle-distance course over 10 km with more than 25 obstacles. The 5 km sprint will also be an option for entrants.
Youngsters will be divided into three age categories and will be able to race for medals over one of three distances. The Spartan Kids will also be able to earn a Kids Trifecta medal by completing three races within the same calendar year.
Each Riyadh Spartan race participant will receive an official medal for finishing the course, an event T-shirt, and two complimentary spectator guest passes.
Building on the success of the last Saudi Spartan race, the Riyadh event is expected to attract visitors from GCC countries and further afield.
The first Saudi Spartan race took place in August 2019 in the mountains of Al-Soudah, during the Asir Festival, and drew more than 1,500 competitors and spectators. Among the 800 racers was a four-year-old and a competitor aged 70.