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Relive the best moments of AlUla Trail Race 2023

Updated: Jun 1, 2023




AlUla Trail Race 2023 was a spectacular event that showcased the beauty and diversity of Saudi Arabia's heritage site. More than 600 runners from 68 countries participated in six different contests that challenged their endurance, speed and agility. The race also offered a unique opportunity to explore the stunning landscapes and historical landmarks of AlUla.



The weekend kicked off with the Arabian Leopard Kids Run and the Sunset Run, which went through AlJedaidah District, AlUla's art hub. The kids enjoyed a fun and safe run along a 2km course, while the adults experienced a magical sunset over the ancient tombs and rock formations.






The race day began with the longest distance: Sharaan Trail, a grueling 93km ultra-marathon that started at before dawn and took the runners through the majestic Sharaan Nature Reserve.






The course featured steep climbs, technical descents, sandy trails and rocky terrain. The runners also passed by some of AlUla's most iconic sites, such as Sharaan Nature Reserve, Ashar Valley and AlMejdar Mountains.




The fight for the top position was action-packed with a neck-to-neck sprint finish where Rachid El Morabity from Morocco earned the top spot with a time of 8:43:27, just one second ahead of Salameh Alaqra from Jordan.





Sam Allwood from the UK and the Wellness Runners club based in the Eastern Province, completed the podium with a time of 10:37:17.






In the women's category, Angela Bak from the UAE dominated the race with a time of 13:08:32, followed by Ronel Wienand from South Africa in 14:14:10 and Perrine Fages from France in 14:27:29.




The Ashar Trail was a challenging 48km race that started at dawn and took the runners through the scenic Ashar Valley. The course had a mix of flat and hilly sections, as well as some narrow passages. The runners also got to enjoy the views of AlUla's lush oasis and palm groves.




Ellie Webb from the United States and Riyadh Road Runners won the women's race with a time of 5:13:43, ahead of Karis Brown from Australia in 5:32:21 and Rosine Watson from Côte d'Ivoire and R7 Run Club in 5:46:52.

The battle for the third spot was fierce between Watson and French runner Nathalie Cochet. Watson maintained her lead with a fiery sprint through AlUla Old Town, with only a second separating the two.



In the men's race, Mickael Gasc from France and KSA TRI finished first with a time of 3:50:06 and Jules Jacquemet also from France with a time of 4:25:18. Sami Saleem from Oman came in third with a time of 4:26:37.





The Elephant Rock Trail was a scenic 23km race that started at midday and took the runners around the iconic Elephant Rock formation. The course had some rolling hills, sandy patches and rocky sections.



In the men's race, Isaac Byaruhanga from Uganda and Yasser Hawsawi from Saudi Arabia had an epic duel that ended with a photo finish. Both runners crossed the line with a time of 1:45:18, but Byaruhanga was declared the winner by a fraction of a second. Saber Saleh from Eritrea and R7 Run Club came in third with a time of 1:52:26.






Sanja Kosturanova from North Macedonia won the women's race with a time of 2:10:37, closely followed by Fatemah Alhajeri from the United Arab Emirates who finished in 2:10:38. Hannah Waters from Australia came in third with a time of 2:19:40.





AlUla Oasis Trail was a fun and accessible 10km race that started in the afternoon and took the runners through AlUla's green oasis. The course was mostly flat and smooth, with some twists and turns along the palm trees and irrigation channels. The runners also got to experience some of AlUla's cultural heritage, such as AlUla Old Town and Musa Bin Nusayr Castle





In the men's race, Muhammed Mahsas from Algeria and Ajyal Running Club took the lead with a time of 45:12, followed by Katib Albalawi from Saudi Arabia who finished in 45:59 and Philip Rossiter from the UK who finished in 46:19.







Sarah Alabdullatif from Saudi Arabia and R7 Run Club won the women's race with an impressive time of 58:12, followed by Chiara Cei from Italy who finished in 1:05:59 and Saudi runner Nisreen Alkhalifah from R7 Run Club who finished in 1:09:31.




AlUla Trail Race was a memorable experience for all the participants, organizers and spectators. The race showcased the beauty and diversity of AlUla, a region rich in history, culture and natural wonders. The runners faced challenging terrain, stunning views and unpredictable weather, but they also enjoyed the camaraderie and support of their fellow competitors and the local community. The race was a success thanks to the hard work, dedication and support of The Royal Commission of AlUla, The Government Entities and most importantly, AlUla Trail Race team, from the organizers to the volunteers who planned and executed every detail with professionalism and passion. We extend our feelings of gratitude and appreciation to all the runners, who showed great spirit, resilience and sportsmanship throughout the race. AlUla Trail Race was more than just a trail running event. It was an opportunity to discover a hidden gem of Saudi Arabia, to connect with nature and culture, and to challenge oneself physically and mentally. It was an adventure that will be remembered for a long time by everyone who took part in it. AlUla Trail Race team hopes to see you again next year for another edition of this unique and exciting event.



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