One in four participants were international athletes Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Spartan Race in Hatta, Dubai, recognised as one of the toughest endurance races globally, attracted the participation of more than 3,500 athletes from diverse nationalities and age groups, including 900 participants from outside the country.

Against the backdrop of Hatta’s mountains and valleys, the race garnered the enthusiasm of over 5,000 spectators who witnessed the various competitions organised by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC).

The Spartan Race is one of the sports events organised by DSC in the Hatta region, aligning with a broader strategy to enhance the distinctive status of this unique area as a destination for adventure tourism and challenge championships.

The Race was a full-body workout Image Credit: Supplied

The organisation of the race in Hatta is integral to the plan for developing sports infrastructure in the area, facilitating the hosting of various local and international sporting events. The geographical diversity and mountainous environment play a crucial role in the success of major international sporting events, positioning the area as a unique and distinguished sports destination in both the UAE and the broader region.

A number of employees from both government and private organisations took part in the race, representing entities including the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, Dubai Police, Dubai Civil Defence, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Establishment, Emirates Investment Authority, Emirates NBD, du, and many others.

Technique was as important as strength in some of the obstacles Image Credit: Supplied

Race categories

The race featured competitions across three categories: the professional half marathon covering 21km, the super category spanning 10km and the sprint category covering 5km, and a special category for children. The competition comprises three main challenges including: the Spartan Sprint for amateurs and beginners, the Spartan Beast for professionals, known for being the toughest and involving a specific group of participants capable of overcoming obstacles and completing the race. The third is the Spartan Junior, dedicated to children aged 4 to 15.

The cooler weather provided some respite during the event Image Credit: Supplied

Obstacles galore

The Spartan Sprint race extended over a distance of 5km, featuring 20 to 23 obstacles, including mud, fire, walls, and barbed wires. The Spartan Beast race covered a distance of 21km with 30 to 35 obstacles, testing participants’ endurance, perseverance, and focus. The Spartan Junior race covered a distance of 1.5km, with seven to 14 obstacles. The focus here was on teamwork, fun, and engaging in mud activities, encouraging children to be active and capable of collaboration.

International athletes made up 25 per cent of the total participants in the race. The turnout of spectators, whether enthusiasts or family members of the participants, played a vital role in fulfilling one of the race’s primary objectives set by the Dubai Sports Council - to showcase Hatta as an area enriched with elements that elevate the concept of sports tourism, owing to its infrastructure and natural environment.

The event received support from Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Holding (Wadi Hub), Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, and Hatta Adventures.