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Perelygin and Jankowska lead the way for a Spartan army

More than 3,000 competitors turn up for inaugural Middle East event at the XDubai Spartan Race

Image Credit: DSC
Participants begin their run during the inaugural XDubai Spartan Race in Hatta yesterday. Sergey Perelygin of Russia took the top prize in the men’s beast category, while Dubai-based Maria Jankowska won the women’s race.
Gulf News

Hatta: Sergey Perelygin of Russia and Maria Jankowska of Poland topped the men’s and women’s categories of the Beast course at the inaugural XDubai Spartan Race held at the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre in Hatta on Friday.

Saeed Hareb, the general secretary of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), attended and flagged off the gruelling Beast race in the morning, while Ghazi Al Madani, the manager of the Sports and Tourism Section of DSC, presented the awards and trophies to the winners in the presence of Sean Meehan, the regional director of Spartan, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

This inaugural event was the opening round of the Middle East Championship with top racers from across the world going head-to-head for a stake in the total cash prize of $50,000 (Dh183,660).

A regular in the UAE and the region, Perelygin was thrilled with yet another success. “This is one of the best courses I have competed on,” the 27-year-old Russian told Gulf News after finishing in a quick time of two hours, 43.47 minutes. “It has a bit of everything. It is technical, there are water obstacles, the track is hard and the weather conditions need to be handled well. I will definitely be back next year.”

UAE resident from Norway Hallvard Borsheim finished in second place in a time of 2:59.03, while Marco Antonio Becerra Castro took the third with 3:06.13 timing.

The women’s honours were reserved for Polish girl Jankowska; she was the first to cross the line in a time of 3:46.57. She was followed by another Dubai resident, Ivana Kolaric from Serbia, with a time of 3:49.04, while Frenchwoman Angelique Chetaneau made a podium comeback from a broken arm to take third spot in a time of 4:06.31.

“This is an ideal course for me as I am used to the harsh conditions of the desert after spending more than three years at my job in Dubai,” Jankowska said. “The focus today was to stay safe and go all out for a quick time as I knew many of the international participants were quick. Ultimately, it was my local knowledge that helped me.

“In a race of this nature, no time can be fast enough as there are so many other elements that are also counted when the final timing is calculated. Luckily my strategy worked and I could win this one in such a good time.”

Happy at coming home with no major damage done to herself pre-race favourite Chetaneau was thrilled with a podium finish. “This was my first race after more than two months. I had targeted a top-10 finish. But to end on the podium in a comeback race is an added bonus,” she said.

XDubai’s general manager Mohammad Javad was thrilled with the success of the event. “To have more than 10,000 people turn up for our first-ever event says a lot. We are confident such Spartan races will grow in popularity in the near future,” he said.

“While the competition is important, the more important factor is to bring people together and spread joy,” he added.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai as part of the UAE’s strategic development plan as a sports and ecotourism destination, the race was organised by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and attracted more than 3,000 competitors in the Beast and Sprint and a separate category for kids.

RESULTS

Beast Men: 1. Sergey Perelygin (2:43.47); 2. Hallvard Borsheim (2:59.03); 3. Marco Antonio Becerra Castro (3:06.13)

Beast Women: 1. Maria Jankowska (3:46.57); 2. Ivana Kolaric (3:49.04); 3. Angelique Chetaneau (4:06.31)

Sprint Men: 1. Mohammad Bassam Obaidat; 2. Yu Min Wang; 3. Firas Sharaf

Sprint Women: 1. Latifa Essarokh; 2. Karima Al Marzouki; 3. Agnieszka Kosmala

 

Fact Box

Beast Men: 1. Sergey Perelygin (2:43.47); 2. Hallvard Borsheim (2:59.03); 3. Marco Antonio Becerra Castro (3:06.13)

Beast Women: 1. Maria Jankowska (3:46.57); 2. Ivana Kolaric (3:49.04); 3. Angelique Chetaneau (4:06.31)

Sprint Men: 1. Mohammad Bassam Obaidat; 2. Yu Min Wang; 3. Firas Sharaf

Sprint Women: 1. Latifa Essarokh; 2. Karima Al Marzouki; 3. Agnieszka Kosmala

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