Early morning showers greeted participants of the 2020 Ooredoo Doha Marathon Friday but the rains failed to dampen their spirits as thousands of runners flocked to the Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA) to participate in the annual event.
Despite the rains, it was estimated that more than 5,000 runners participated in the event, which was attended by Ooredoo Group CEO Sheikh Saud bin Nasser al-Thani and Ooredoo Qatar CEO Waleed al-Sayed, as well as other special guests.
The event kicked-off with the 42.2km full marathon followed by the 21km, 10km, 5km, and 3km races. The 2020 installment of the marathon culminated with the 1km children’s fun run.
Cloudy skies, though rainy at times, provided a pleasant run for all participants, making it all the more enjoyable, especially for the children who appeared to had the most fun, according to Carlos, a European national who had two of his kids joining the run.
The annual sporting event delivered an exciting and festive mood; with a long stretch of the Doha Corniche closed to vehicular traffic, many of the participants even took the time to take selfies during and after the marathon.
“We always look forward to this marathon, which it is obviously marked in our calendar. Not only is it a time to get fit but an opportunity to bond with my family, especially my children and for us to forge new friendships with other runners and marathon lovers,” explained Ahmad, who has been joining the marathon for the past three years.
Aside from the Corniche, the MIA Park, where the start and finish lines were located, was also jam-packed with post-marathon activities for both kids and adults alike. It was also a venue for the participants to take group pictures and selfies beside life-size numbers representing the kilometre they finished.
“We’re not professional runners but my friends and I managed to join and complete the 3km marathon. It is a feat considering we are not that active in sports, but I commend events such as this because it promotes an active lifestyle and being healthy, and most importantly, it serves as an opportunity for people to get together and be one family,” said Michelle, a first time participant of the Ooredoo Doha Marathon.
In an earlier statement, Ooredoo stated that the marathon is poised to be an “incredible event” due to its record number of participants. The telecommunications company also welcomed the international athletes, as well as the many citizens and residents that competed in the marathon, which is part of Ooredoo’s corporate social responsibility strategy.