Aspire Zone Foundation hosted on December 5 an awarding ceremony to announce the winners of the first IAU 50km World Championships, which the Foundation is hosting annually through to 2017. During the same ceremony, the winners of the “Aspire International 6:50 Race” were also announced.
The championship witnessed strong competition between more than 100 of the world’s best ultrarunners, as selected by their respective national federations. The runners that took part represented 21 countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Mongolia, Holland, Norway, Serbia, Sierra Leon, Taipei, the United States, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
In conjunction with the championship, Aspire Zone Foundation also hosted the “Aspire International 6:50 Race”, which gave a number of running enthusiasts in Qatar the chance to compete alongside IAU professional ultrarunners. The race featured 12 Qatari runners, in addition to 250 resident runners from 44 countries.
Mr. Ali Al-Fehaidi, Acting Director General of Aspire Logistics; Dr. Mohamed Ghaith Al-Kuwari, Acting Director General of Aspetar; Mr. Abdullah Al Khater, Events Manager at Aspire Zone Foundation; and Mr. Nadeem Khan, IAU Director of Communications, presented the winners with their medals and trophies.
The winners list included:
IAU 50km World Championships
Individual male first place: Tony Migliozzi (USA) with a time of 2:52:09
Individual female first place: Camille Herron (USA) with a world-record of 3:20:59
Male team first place: Team Kenya with a combined total time of 8:49:09
Female team first place: Team Croatia with a combined total time of 10:50:08
Aspire International 6:50 Race
Open race male first place: Sami Al Saidi (Oman)
Open race female first place: Sarah Whittington (UK)
Relay team male first place: Team Al Maghreb
Relay team mix first place: Team Al Attar
In a speech given at the closing ceremony, Dr. Mohamed Ghaith Al-Kuwari thanked all parties that were involved in making the championship a success, whether in the level of international and local participation, the organisation of the event, or the level of competition between the runners. He added: “We have left no stone unturned in our preparations for the championship, which reflects our commitment to provide all the support needed to such international events that attract athletes from around the world to Qatar. This aligns with Aspire Zone’s mission and vision to enhance sports performance and become the reference in sports excellence worldwide”.
First place winner in the IAU 50km World Championships individual male category, Tony Migliozzi said: “I am really happy to have participated in this championship, which was very challenging. I can confidently say that all factors of the championship were difficult but helped us complete the race successfully. I have had an invaluable experience here competing against some of the world’s elite ultrarunners. I would like to thank the organisers for hosting us in Qatar, and I look forward to take part in future editions”.
From her side, Camille Herron, first place winner in the IAU 50km World Championships individual female category, said: “I was impressed with the level of organisation and participation in the race, and it took a full team effort to win. I was inspired and encouraged by my teammates and support staff, and I am happy to have been a part of the first edition of the IAU 50km World Championships”.
Rashed Al-Khayareen Al-Hajri, member of the “Qatar Runners” team who won second place in the Aspire International 6:50 Race Open Race said: “Being able to run alongside an elite group of ultrarunners was such a unique experience. I am happy that my strenuous efforts in preparing for the championship have paid off, and I would like to thank Aspire Zone Foundation for giving us this opportunity. I look forward to compete in the 2016 race”.
A fan zone was also set up at the race site, which included a number of activities and competitions for children and families.
It is worth noting that Aspire Zone Foundation organised this championship in collaboration with the International Association of Ultrarunners and the Qatar Athletics Federation. The championship is officially accredited by the IAU.
About Aspire Zone Foundation:
Aspire Zone has grown significantly since its inception as an international sport destination in 2003. The official umbrella, the “Aspire Zone Foundation” (AZF), was established by Emiri decree on 1 January 2008.
The goal of Aspire Zone Foundation is to develop sports champions, promote healthy lifestyle and galvanize the sports economy. All member organizations of AZF have their individual role to play in realizing the AZF Mission. The Aspire Zone umbrella brand currently comprises three strategic member organizations.
Integrated below the strategic members, which are specialized in businesses focusing on various fields such as venues and events management, hospitality, sports education, sports medicine, communication or commerce.
All businesses have been integrated to serve, enhance or perfect AZF in its development to become the worldwide reference in sports excellence.
Aspire Academy established in September 2004 and has developed into one of the world leading elite sport institutes.
Aspetar, the first advanced sports medicine hospital of its kind in the Gulf region and one of the leading in the world commenced its operations in 2007. It has meanwhile achieved a pioneering international reputation and is recognized as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence.
Aspire Logistics is the backbone and custodian of Aspire Zone venues. It manages all venues, as well as international sports events and conferences.