The World Spartan Championship will kick off on Friday, December 3, 2021 at the Liwa Desert in the Al Dhafra region. The Middle Eastern edition of the event marks the first time the championship will be held outside of the USA and is organized by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in cooperation with the Spartan World Foundation.
The event has attracted an elite group of athletes from around the world, including juniors and qualified teams, in addition to participants in community races for different age groups. It is one of the most important and largest championships to challenge participants’ fitness levels, while also representing the most powerful obstacle and hurdle races in the world. The successful organization of the World Spartan Championship further consolidates Abu Dhabi's position as a global sporting hub.
The championship competitions begin at 3:00 PM on Friday with the Elite Men’s Challenge for a distance of 21 km across the sand dunes of the Liwa Desert, followed by the elite women’s competitions at 3:30 PM.
From 4:00-4:15 PM, kids aged 12-14 will run over two miles, while kids aged 4-6 will enjoy taking part in a half-mile obstacle course in which parents can also run alongside them or cheer from the side-lines. Additionally, a one-mile race is available to participate for kids aged 6-11.
The last event of the first day is the CEO of Spartan International Corporation challenge, from 6:30-8:00 PM.
The second day’s competition will start in the early morning with children’s races of two miles and a mile and a half from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM, while the elite races of 21 km and 50 km will be held at 12:00 PM. The World Team Championship starts at 4:30 PM with teams of three selected to represent their countries in the 10-day familiarization cycle.
On the side-lines, several recreational, cultural and musical activities will be held at the camps that have been prepared to receive attendees, both participants and spectators, as the program includes events around the clock, starting from 8:00 AM.
His Excellency Aref Hamad Al-Awani, Secretary-General of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, welcomed the participants to the World Spartan Championship, encouraging them to enjoy the beauty of the Liwa desert terrain as well as the hospitality of the Emirati people and their authentic customs. He emphasized that the Council was keen to provide all the success factors to present an exceptional and impressive event, especially since it is the first time that the championship was being held outside the USA. He expressed that they were harnessing all the ingredients needed to deliver the distinctive style that matches the prestigious global reputation of Abu Dhabi and its leadership in organizing major events.
Al-Awani said: "We are proud to organize a distinguished group of international sporting events within our sports agenda for this season, which displays the interaction of the world's elite athletes, institutions and international sports federations with Abu Dhabi's attractive sports initiatives and a distinctive diversity of events, which contributes to achieving its vision as an advanced destination. In the map of global sports cities, the fact that the tournament coincides with the country’s celebrations of the 50th National Day, increases the importance and luster of the event.”
For his part, Joe de Sina, founder of Spartan World, said: "I am very happy to be holding the World Championships in Abu Dhabi for the first time in the region, and I am confident that the Abu Dhabi edition will be the most beautiful ever in the history of the Spartan Championships."
He added: "I take the opportunity to congratulate the United Arab Emirates on its celebration of the fiftieth National Day, as the world witnessed the achievements of the UAE in various fields. I also extend my thanks and appreciation to the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and its keenness to achieve partnership with Spartan International."