Saudi Aramco News

‘UDHAILIYAH, 6/3/2014 — Perfect weather conditions greeted the 65 runners competing in the first-ever half marathon held Feb. 7 in ’Udhailiyah.

In addition to his responsibilities as race organizer, ’Udhailiyah Recreation consultant Steve Chard was also competing as a warm-up to his attempt at the London Marathon. Members of the ‘Udhailiyah Fitness Group provided Chard and other runners enthusiastic support.

The race included categories for men, women and teams. Most of the team runners covered a minimum distance of 1 mile each, depending on the number of people in the team, with the final time calculated by the end runner crossing the finish line.

The event attracted runners from Dhahran and ’Udhailiyah, and it was obvious that some competitors were elite class runners. The course took the runners around the water tower within the family camp and then outside the family gate, down the main boulevard to the main gate and back up the long gentle gradient to loop twice around the golf course and horse stables before re-entering the family camp for a final loop around the water tower and back to the pool complex for the finish line.

Simone Less and Christophe Sargis were fast off the start line and maintained a neck and neck pace through the section inside the family camp and out on the loop around the golf course. Coming down the final stretch, Less managed to surge ahead of Sargis to cross the line in a winning time of 1:18:55, who finished close behind with a time of 1:19:45.

Sargis, fresh off from a second-place showing at the Bahrain International Duathlon two weeks earlier, still finished first in his age category and was pleased with his effort. First place in the women’s division went to Ria Corbett with a time of 1:45:34. Second place women’s finisher was Maille McGough, followed by Jodie Ashbie. Special mention went to Corban Remsburg and Aaron Wilson, both only 14 and the youngest runners to complete the entire course. Both come from athletic families. Remsburg’s mother, Maryann, competed in the women’s division while his father was in Oman with Aaron Wilson’s father competing at an international mountain bike race.

Medals and bags filled with sporting treats were distributed to all competitors. The organizers expressed their appreciation to ‘’Udhailiyah Community Services Division for its support and to the volunteers who helped out on the day of the event.