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Mobily Marathon set to roll; over 5,000 runners expected

This year’s Jeddah Mobily Marathon will be held on April 17. The foot race will cover a distance of 30 kilometers, chairman of the organizing committee Abdullah Bakhashab said during a press conference on Tuesday.

Nesma Holding is sponsoring the marathon, with the race’s profits going to Al-Bir charity society.

“We are sponsoring the marathon in order to encourage sports activities in the Kingdom, as well as encourage companies to support the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR),” said Thamer Shaker, Nesma’s chief of human resources division and CSR officer.

“It is a must for all human resources divisions in every company to create activities that support youths,” he said.

“I am glad to announce our sponsorship for the ninth edition of Mobily marathon. It is our pleasure to support youth and society,” said Sheikh Saleh Al-Turki, CEO of Nesma Holding.

According to Al-Turki, the marathon will go international in the future and will extend to cover the full 42.195-kilometer distance. It is also expected to include the participation of international runners from Ethiopia, Kenya, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain.

Mazen Batarjee, head of the Al-Bir board council, said Mobily’s sponsorship is a part of Al-Bir’s quest to develop the process of charitable work.

“The marathon has become one of the most prominent seasonal activities of the Al-Bir Society and was the most attended sporting event in Jeddah,” he said.

According to Bakhshab, different sections of society will be catered for in the race.

“The marathon this year includes three tracks, one that is three kilometers long for people with special needs. The second is six kilometers for children up to 18. It will include all school students. The third track, 21 km long, is for professionals. The registration is open to all people who want to participate,” he said.

He said the expected number of competitors is more than 5,000 from the Kingdom and other countries.

“Three winners of each category will be honored at the end of the marathon. This year’s marathon prizes are worth SR300,000, including a car for each of the winners in each track,” he said.

This year’s course starts out at Tahlia roundabout on the Corniche Road and proceeds northwards along the Corniche to the globe roundabout before heading south to the finish line near the entrance to the Red Sea Mall on King’s Road.

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