The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA), with the support of the Ministry of Sport, is gearing up to host the first full marathon in Saudi Arabia, reinforcing the Kingdom's position as a leading, global sport destination. The Riyadh Marathon, scheduled for March 5th 2022, will not only bring together sports enthusiasts and encourage all members of society to regularly take part of physical activity, but will also promote the growth of the sports and tourism economies. The sports sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lingers to grow with the continuous support of His Majesty Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, in line with the goals and objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.
Under the guidance of the Minister of Sport His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, the President of the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA), His Royal Highness Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud officially announced the Riyadh Marathon 2022, in presence of Assistant to the Minister of Sport Dr. Rajallah Alsolami alongside with Mr. Ahmed Badris, CEO of the Quality of Life Program, and the President of the Saudi Arabian Athletics Federation, Dr. Habeeb Al-Rubayan, and a number of dignitaries and guests and success partners from the media.
The marathon will see runners take on the challenge of the 42-kilometer full marathon course starting from King Saud University and continuing through the city of Riyadh, enabling participants to explore the attractions of the Saudi capital city. Registrations for the marathon will open in early December through the official Riyadh Marathon website (www.riyadhmarathon.org).
The Riyadh Marathon 2022 is the first official full marathon in Saudi Arabia. In addition to the full marathon, multiple races will be on offer to allow people of all ages, gender, and athletic abilities to participate. There will be a half marathon (21.1 kilometers) for avid runners, a 10-kilometer race for those aged 17 and above, and a 4-kilometer race for beginners and children from all members of society.
"We are happy today to launch the Riyadh Marathon 2022. Through the continuous and unlimited support from our leadership His Majesty Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia has been able to become one of the world's leading sport destinations," said HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud, Minister of Sport.
"This international event is in line with Saudi Vision 2030 objectives through its Quality of Life Program, which seeks to motivate all members of society to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. We are excited to welcome people from all over the Kingdom and across the world to take part in next year's inaugural race in our beloved capital.”
The marathon will offer several training programs and digital resources on the marathon's official communication channels to help guide participants fulfill their fitness goals, in addition to on-ground side events leading up to the event. On the weekend of the Riyadh Marathon (March 4-5), participants and victors can enjoy food, entertainment, and recreational activities at the Riyadh Marathon Village. Top finishers at the marathon will receive monetary prizes with a value of more than 1 million SAR to celebrate their performance and accomplishment, with additional details to be announced at a later stage.
The Riyadh Marathon 2022 and many more upcoming sport events and activities forms a part of the Saudi Sports for All Federation's commitment and support to creating opportunities for all members of society to engage in sports activities. President of SFA, HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, added: “As well as being a major draw for the local and international fitness community, the Riyadh Marathon is a path for people of all ages and abilities across the country, and the globe, to take part in a world-class sporting event. By opening the marathon to people at every fitness level – from beginners and children to pro athletes and experienced runners – we are showing that this event is for all of us, no matter where you may be on your fitness journey.
"With training support and guidance in the lead-up to the event, as well as two full days of fun and entertainment over the race weekend itself, inclusivity is at the heart of the Riyadh Marathon. We can't wait to welcome everyone at the marathon start line in March next year."
The Ministry of Sport and the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) previously hosted the Riyadh Half-Marathon in February 2018. The event attracted more than 11,000 participants across all ages, genders, and abilities, with top finishers receiving monetary awards.
Building on the SFA strategy, several initiatives have been launched leading up to the Riyadh Marathon 2022. The most prominent program is the "Step Together" program, a series of virtual walk-run challenges that witnessed the participation of thousands across the different regions of the Kingdom. All finishers received a medal and certificate to celebrate their accomplishment in each of the program's editions. The Step Together initiative is considered a motivating and preparatory element to participate directly in the marathon.
The marathon which is organized by the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) is directly supported by the Ministry of Sport and the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee alongside the direct coordination with the Saudi Arabian Athletics Federation and many success partners to achieve the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 within the Quality of Life program.
The Kingdom has repeatedly hosted successful local and international sport events and continues to work with experts in the field to further develop the sport sector in the Kingdom. The marathon is one of several initiatives launched by the Saudi Sports for All Federation to activate the population and increasing the percentage of people who regularly engage in physical activities in the Kingdom to 40% by 2030. The SFA contributes to achieving this goal by facilitating and organizing sport activities and events, launching awareness campaigns and collaborating with both government and private sector to encourage all members of society in adopting a healthy and active lifestyle.