NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The best obstacle course racers around the globe take on a new challenge when Spartan brings its biggest World Championship weekend to date to the desert oasis of Abu Dhabi December 4-5, 2020. For the first time in Spartan's 10-year history, the Spartan World Championship, Hosted by Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Powered By Rakuten, will take place outside of the US and will bring the Elite Spartan World Championship, Spartan Team World Championship and Spartan Kids World Championship to the same event weekend.
The announcement was made during an exclusive media event in New York City with Spartan Founder and CEO Joe De Sena and Spartan Women's World Champion Nicole Mericle, who ceremoniously passed the event's official flag to Mr. Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
"Throughout the course of its eight-year history, we've held the Spartan World Championship in the US, and we're excited to bring the global event to Abu Dhabi," said De Sena. "We're grateful for the support of Mr. Awani and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for hosting what will prove to be an epic World Championship weekend. Abu Dhabi has everything that Spartans dream of in a World Championship: epic and difficult terrain, incredible culture, and exotic desert adventures, just outside of an ultra-modern city full of activities. There's nowhere better for our inaugural World Championship on foreign soil."
The crown jewel of the weekend takes place Friday, December 4, when qualified male and female elite racers descend on the remarkable desert race course outside of Abu Dhabi to compete for more than $120,000 USD in cash prizes. The half-marathon-distance "Spartan Beast" will feature a mix of high-speed running, leg-burning steep climbs and breathtaking scenery with more than 30 signature Spartan obstacles including the Spear Throw, Barbed Wire Crawl, and Helix and Rope Climb. With 2019 World Champions Robert Killian and Nicole Mericle hailing from the US, endurance athletes from more than 50 countries across the globe are expected to participate in an attempt to stake their claim on the $120,000 prize purse.
"It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Spartan World Championship will be staged in Abu Dhabi – for the first time ever outside the United States of America," said His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council. "Indeed, it is a groundbreaking occasion for both Spartan and us, to take this World Championship to a new audience in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. I am aware of the success and popularity of this event over the years and as the 2020 host of this World Championship, we will do our utmost with our local organizing committee to move this championship to the next level on its success and popularity."
Mr. Awani continued: "Abu Dhabi offers the participants a unique new landscape to conquer on the beautiful desert terrains and soft sand dunes befitting a competition of this nature.
The Spartan World Championship is the latest to be included on this list and we are absolutely delighted and looking forward to this event at a time when the country is celebrating the 49th National Day on December 2.
Abu Dhabi is a dynamic, vibrant and modern city with many world-class sporting events taking place every year. These events not only add color and energy to our city, but also enrich the travel experience of visitors and reinforce our position as a sporting capital of the world."
Preceding the marquee event is the third annual Spartan Kids World Championship, a gated event, open to kids ages 10 to 14 years old who have placed top three in their age and gender group at any Spartan Kids race around the world. The weekend will culminate Saturday night with the Team World Championship, an event first introduced in 2017.
The race weekend also offers opportunities for non-qualified athletes to hit the race course. Saturday morning and afternoon will kick off with Open Beast heats, as well as Open heat Kids races of varying distances. 120 competitive age group heats will take place Saturday morning.
Whether you're seeking an adrenaline rush, craving adventure or simply want to soak up some rays and enjoy shimmering turquoise water, Abu Dhabi has you covered.
Experience a one-of-a-kind weekend full of off-course experiences infused with local Emirati culture, including the biggest festival Spartan has ever created. This epic event will include traditional Emirati food, cultural shows, extreme dune rides, yoga classes, a Parade of Nations, closing fireworks and much, much more.
To register and learn more visit Spartan.com.
About Abu Dhabi Sports Council
Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) was established in 2006 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
ADSC is aligned to the emirate's leadership vision to develop sport and youth activities. The Council promotes an effective, emirate-wide sports calendar that stimulates the desire to participate in quality sports among all Abu Dhabi residents and helps the talented and motivated reach their sporting potential.
The Council also hosts and supports the staging of international world-class sporting events, including the annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, the Formula 1TM Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the ITU World Triathlon Series, the Abu Dhabi Invitational, the Gary Player Invitational, the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final, the Red Bull Air Race, the hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race round-the-world sailing epic, the UAE Tour.
We at ADSC firmly believe that sporting events deliver a host of benefits for the emirate and its residents. These span improved health and wellness, the building of community spirit, the discovering of local talent and the delivery of international exposure of the emirate as a world-class sporting events hub.
Whether it is land, sea or air, we have sport covered.
With more than 250 events across more than 40 countries on six continents, Spartan is the world's largest obstacle course race (OCR) and endurance brand. Providing transformation through sport, Spartan attracts more than one million annual participants across all fitness levels, from beginners to elite. More than five million participants have finished Spartan events, creating a lifestyle that extends beyond races including health and wellness products, training and nutrition programs, and popular media content, which has made OCR one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Spartan events feature races at various distances, Stadion and Sprint: 5k and 20 Obstacles; Super: 10k and 25 Obstacles; Beast: half marathon and 30 Obstacles; and Ultra: 50k and 60 obstacles. Visit spartan.com for more information and registration.
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