The Al Adaid Desert Challenge started as a mountain bike event and, as Qatar’s UCI registered point to point race, it attracts a cohort of international competitors each year – the 2019 elite events being won by Frédéric Gombert (France), and Qatar resident and former Olympian, Pia Sundstedt (Finland).
Two years ago, with the growing popularity of desert running in Qatar, a 30 kilometer run added to the programme. This has proven to be a real attraction – swelling the event to 530 competitors. So, to appeal to an even wider audience of sportsmen and women, for 2020 a duathlon is launched: 42km of off-road cycling, then 10 kilometers of running. It’s a mini “Samla” or an off-road race with a twist. The Al Adaid Desert Challenge just got more challenging.
The event has changed route three times already. Heading from Sealine to the tip of the Khor Al Adaid in first edition, to the Doha Bus desert camp for the past two years. Just 1.5 km further away, lies the brand-new Al Majles Resort, an oasis nestled among the iconic sand dunes and beaches of ‘The Inland Sea’. This will be the new finish line for Al Adaid Desert Challenge 2020.
Managing director of the event, Dr Jamal Al Khanji, board member of Qatar cyclists has been part of the event in all its five editions: “The event has steadily grown in stature with the mountain biking and trail running community. Its reputation is set to further strengthen with improvements across all and new race formats, which will take competitors throughout the stunning topography of the area to the all-new finish line.”
With vast experience in this terrain, ICARUS Sports, will be providing Al Adaid Desert Challenge with video production and extensive TV and Online media distribution services.
“The participants will be tested to their limits, nevertheless the effort will be rewarded with spectacular desert and ocean views. We are always excited to be part of such unique projects.” said Panagiotis Pachtas, COO of ICARUS Sports.
Photo Credits: Al Adaid Desert Challenge