Qatar’s first-ever 24-hour mountain bike race will be held on March 17. Rasen Sports organised endurance race, which will take the riders beyond their limits and inspire unbelievable camaraderie, will be held on specifically designed challenging 11km circuit at a private farm in Umm Jurn.
“This is a different race, the first 24-hour bike race in Qatar and probably first in the region also, but we are not very sure about it and not claiming it. I came to know that the one such race was held in Dubai but it was cancelled. But ours will be the first one of its kind in Qatar. Hopefully we will do something similar next year in road cycling,” Rasen Sports’ Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani told Gulf Times.
Talking about the circuit of the race, he said: “The challenge will attract participants to one of Qatar’s most untouched natural wonders. It will be different from all the other races you see, the riders will actually go between banana trees and date palms. There will be old houses as they will ride alongside old housing communities. There will be water puddles and sandy dunes also.”
For this adventurous, exciting and demanding race, which will start on March 17 at 1pm, the registration process is on. Rasen Sports have been organising cycling race from the last couple of years in the country with the aim to make the biking a popular sport under the guidance of Sheikh Abdullah, who himself is a biker.
“Since 2013, we have been sponsoring mountain bike events. We wanted to add something different to our calendar and that is the 24-hour competition. We want it to be family-oriented. It’s not only a race. There is camping. People will get to experience farmhouse life and connect with desert nature. It’s a very old farm. It is different from what you normally see in the desert. I am sure most participants wouldn’t have seen the farmhouse life I am talking about,” he said.
The riders will have to plan their own strategy, when they want to take break and when they want to race. There winner of the face will be the team or rider that completes the most laps with the first lap after the clock has ticked over 24 hours counting to the result.
“The riders have their targets to achieve, some aim to complete 80kms, while some experienced riders are aiming to complete 100kms. I am aiming at 80kms,” Sheikh Abdullah, who is going to participate in the race, said.
Discussing, the scheduling of the event he said: “The reason we have it in March is because we sought suggestions from our family of riders. We saw into their requests. The other date that we could have gone for was in the month of January. Our races are scheduled well in advance, even going back to a year. We have to work with sponsors also.
“It was very tight for us looking at the annual calendar. We had a race scheduled for March 10. We cancelled that to have this event on March 17. On March 11, we will have an off-road event also,” he added.