Doha set to bring back the glory of night marathon

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
May 14, 2015
  • IAAF General Secretary Nick Davies (from left), IAAF President & Chairman of the Board of Diamond League AG Lamine Diack, Chairman of the IAAF Diamond League Doha 2015 Organising Committee & QAF Presi

Long-distance champion, Mo Farah, on Thursday gave thumbs up to the concept of night marathon – the latest to go vogue on athletics circuit.

“It’s good for the bodies of the athletes and I think night marathon is exciting.Why not? If the crowd wants it and there is research saying that it would be good for the sport, the crowds and the athletes, then why not,” said the 32-year old Mo, who is the current Olympic, World and European champion in his respective events spanning from the 5000m to 10,000m.

The Somali-born British athlete brushed aside the humidity factor saying, “It does take its toll, don’t get me wrong, but it would be the same for every athlete.It would be a level playing field. Besides, we train before ever event to ensure that our bodies are accustomed to the climatic conditions of the region.”

Incidentally, the 2019 Athletics World Championships, earmarked for the months of September and October in Doha, will take place at night to ensure cooler temperatures.

The Chairman of the IAAF Diamond League Doha 2015 Organising Committee and Qatar Athletics Federation President, Dahlan Al-Hamad, floated the idea of night marathon.

In Doha, darkness sets in at around 5pm in October, allowing for the grueling race to be held at lower temperatures. The QFA president had suggested the idea in November last year during the bidding process for the prestigious event.

Dahlan Al-Hamad, laid emphasis of the concept of night marathon saying, “We have planned that we will have night marathon practices almost every year just to orient the international athletes and officials towards the concept.”

“We will ensure that steps are taken to successfully stage the night marathon during the 2019 Athletics World Championships,” he added.

Incidentally, Doha is not the first city to host a night-marathon with the 1964 Rome Olympics being the flag-bearer for the event.

Later in 2001, the World Championship marathon in Edmonton, too saw the same event being held in the dark.

However, this is the first time in history that a night-time marathon would be illuminated for the entirety of the route.