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Athletes are set to run the streets of Bahrain on Saturday as part of the island’s annual fundraising run with the aim of supporting local charities as well as encouraging healthy living.
The Bahrain Marathon Relay, which began 38 years ago with only a handful of team as a fun run, will feature 210 teams and 3,360 runners competing in a 48km race for people aged 12 and above, starting and finishing at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.
The race, organised by The Bahrain Round Table and Rotaract Bahrain (part of Rotary International), is a foot race of 16 stages of approximately 3km each, held on the public roads of Bahrain. The baton must be passed on from one member to the next at the designated changeover point and must be visible to race officials at all times for timekeeping purposes.
According to organisers, this marathon relay has grown to become one of the largest charity sporting events in the kingdom. Triathletes such as Tru Active co-founder Dana Zubari, who also co-founded the all-women running community Lettuce Run with fellow Ironman finisher Mariam Turki, is looking forward to the event.
She said: “Every year, I love joining the Bahrain Marathon Relay because it helps the runners bond and work to a 3km continuous run goal. Plus, it is a charity event which helps raise money for a good cause. I participate every year because I absolutely love it and I have captained Bahrain Road Runners team and Lettuce Run.”
Team captains must ensure that their runners are familiar with the routing of the stage(s) that they are running and each stage must be completed by one person starting and finishing at the designated changeover point.
If any person is unable to complete their stage, the baton must be returned to the start of that stage (by whatever means, including the use of a car) and the entire stage must be completed by another team member. No person can run more than one consecutive stage, unless it is an emergency as in a team member is missing. Only then will that be made possible and of course that also requires an approval from the Stage Timekeeper.
Runners have been asked to keep to the left side of the road (facing oncoming traffic) unless stated otherwise on the route directions and that no pacing is allowed (be it vehicular or from team members) to ensure safety of the competitors and to avoid traffic congestion.
In terms of the teams, the categories include: Open Division (men/mixed), Open Ladies, Hotel Division, Sports/Social Division, Telecommunications/IT Division, Construction Division, Financial Institution Division, School Division (Under 18), School/College Division and Hash House Harriers Division.
As for awards, there will be a sponsor trophy and a most improved team trophy.