Why it matters: Maxim Chane and Marta Menditto won the inaugural XTERRA Oman off-road triathlon, highlighting Oman's potential as a premium destination for hosting world-class sporting events and promoting tourism.
Setting the pace: On March 18, 2023, Maxim Chane from France and Marta Menditto from Italy emerged victorious in the first-ever XTERRA race in the Middle East, held at the Khasab Fort in Oman's Musandam Governorate.
What they are saying:
- Maxim Chane: "This was totally different from any race I've done before. XTERRA is about exploring new cultures and experiences so this ticked every box. Every day here has been a cultural learning experience that I'll never forget."
- Marta Menditto: "It's not every day you get to be the first winner of the first event in a new region. In 5 years time when there are multiple events in the Middle East, it'll be great to be remembered as the first XTERRA Oman Champion."
- Gianfranco Cucco: "The purpose built course here in Khasab was great, not too difficult for the local athletes but quite tricky when trying to push hard. The sandy rocky ground was just ready to catch you out and ruin your day. Then running in the heat was really tough, but a proper Middle Eastern race experience for sure."
- Mr. Mohammed bin Khalfan Al Obaidani: "The event proved to be a significant success for the Musandam Governorate and Muscat Municipality, as it highlighted Musandam and Oman as a premium destination in the Middle East for hosting world-class, globally-recognized sporting events."
By the numbers:
- 1.5km swim in the Sea of Oman, 30km mountain bike, and 10km trail run
- $23,000 in prize money - $16,000 for the full-distance triathlon and $7,000 for the half marathon
- Second of 20 events in 14 countries on the 2023 XTERRA EMEA Tour
Between transition: The region remains largely undiscovered by international tourism, offering adventurous travelers cultural charm, ancient history, and a range of outdoor activities.
The bottom line: The success of the XTERRA Oman off-road triathlon highlights Oman's potential as a premium destination for hosting world-class sporting events and promoting tourism, while providing a unique cultural learning experience for athletes and visitors alike.