Abu Dhabi to host first Spartan World Championship outside of US

Event will take place in Liwa Desert to coincide with UAE's golden jubilee

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Abu Dhabi's first Spartan World Championship will coincide with the 50th anniversary of UAE National Day.

It will take place in the Liwa Desert from December 3 to 5 and comprise three events – the Spartan Kids World Championship, the Elite Spartan World Championship and the Spartan Team World Championship.

The weather in Abu Dhabi in December is perfect

"The Spartan Worlds is a unique and ground-breaking event taking place at the spectacular Liwa desert in Abu Dhabi," said Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, state news agency Wam reported.

“The championship will be even grander as it also coincides with the UAE's Golden Jubilee celebrations.”

The tournament, held outside the US for the first time, kicks off with the Spartan Kids World Championship race.

This will be followed by the Elite Spartan World Championship. Regarded as the crown jewel of the weekend, competitors take part in a half-marathon mix of high-speed, leg-burning running and steep climbs.

The event was initially scheduled to take place last year but was postponed due to Covid-19.

Spartan's Director of Business Development Cherie Bortnick explained why the UAE's capital was chosen as this year’s venue.

“The terrain of Abu Dhabi is very unique. Most Spartans around the world take on courses in the mountains, farmland, parks, stadiums, and dirt fields," she said.

“It is few and far between that Spartans experience a desert landscape. Abu Dhabi will have exposed, new terrain that is wholly unique to this region of the world."

It is not only the terrain and location that are different from past events.

“The World Championship has historically been held in September, but as new products and championships emerged, we knew it was time to extend the season and ensure that the World Championship became the last race of the season," Ms Bortnick said.

"The weather in Abu Dhabi in December is perfect.”

The emirate is no stranger to global tournaments and is already home to top-tier competitions such as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.