ABU DHABI: Some of the world’s leading endurance athletes will compete in the 2022 Spartan World Championship in December over a challenging new course.
This is the second year that Abu Dhabi will host the championships which will feature iconic desert terrain with vast sand dune trails. The venue at Al-Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, is located about 30 minutes outside the capital city’s airport, providing a convenient location for both local and international competitors and participants.
The best Spartan athletes — who qualify throughout the racing season — will compete in the men’s and women’s individual World Championship Super on Saturday, Dec. 3, vying for more than $125,000 in total prize money. The Team World Championship Super will be held on Sunday, Dec. 4.
The event isn’t just for the elite.
The Age Group World Championship Beast and Open Beast will run on Saturday with an Open Team Super, Open Super, Open Sprint, and Kids Open on Sunday, allowing all Spartans the opportunity to test their mettle on the championship course or participate as a family.
“We’re excited to be back in Abu Dhabi after an unreal first year in the desert. We’re putting together a new course that will be one of our hardest yet — whoever leaves with the title is going to earn it,” said Joe De Sena, Spartan founder and CEO. “But just as important is the opportunity for all our Spartans to challenge themselves on the same course as the Elites. If you join us in Abu Dhabi, you’ll leave a different person. You’ll unlock your physical and mental potential.” He thanked the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and its general secretary, Aref Hamad Al-Awani, for their support.
Athletes in the elite and competitive age group divisions can qualify through race series held in 14 countries, two regional championships, or at various wild card events throughout the year. Athletes must reach certain qualifying standards that involve both overall place and finish within a certain time of the winner.
There are no qualifications for the Open Beast over 21 kilometers and 30 obstacles, Open Team Super and Open Super over 10 kilometers and 25 obstacles, or Open Kids divisions.
Al-Awani said that hosting the championship fits within the ADSC’s philosophy of supporting and promoting healthy lifestyles.
“It was a great honor and prestige for Abu Dhabi to host the Spartan World Championship, and we are absolutely thrilled the endurance event is returning to the capital city for the second time in two years,” he said. “This event allows the elite athletes as well as participants at all levels, from men, women and the juniors, to compete. It encourages and creates awareness among the community to lead an active lifestyle to prepare for the competition.
On Saturday, racing begins with the age group event followed by the Open Beast leading into the World Championship Super during the evening.
Sunday features the Open Super, Open Sprint, and the Open Kids races of varying distances. Sunday also includes the Team World Championship at the Super distance and Open Team Super — an event first introduced in 2017.
In 2021, Canadian power couple Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster topped the podium in Abu Dhabi. Atkins finished in 2:13:40 to take the men’s World Championship Beast while Webster finished in 2:38:54 to win the women’s World Championship Beast. Meanwhile, France edged out Russia and Canada in 1:09:39 to win the Super 10-kilometer, 25-obstacle team race.