There are 50k and half-marathons available…

There are two types of people in the world. OK, there are probably more but for the purpose of this particular gross generalisation, just two. Those who hear the words ’50k race in the desert’ and immediately think ‘sign me up’ and those prepared to run almost 50k in the opposite direction to avoid it.

If you’re in the former pile, the great news is that as part of the Spartan World Championships in Abu Dhabi this December, which are being held outside the US for the first time in the event’s history, there are a pair of Spartan Trails (that’s longer races, sans obstacles) that are open to the bandana-wearing public.

Be warned though, these are reserved solely for the lion-hearted.

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Tickets are on sale now for the events which will take place on Saturday, December 4, 2021. Runners from all over the world will be invited to test their inner Leonidas against the sand and grit of the Moreeb Dunes in Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Desert, in either a 50km or 21km trail.

Though in contrast to traditional Spartan Races there are no obstacles to overcome, you will be racing through some tough, hauntingly beautiful desert geography. This, after all, is Sparta.

Early bird ticket prices for the 50km trail start at USD127.99, around Dhs470. Prices for the half marathon start at USD99.99 (Dhs367ish). The website will also help you book transport to the Spartan Village and overnight camping for the event.

For more information on the Spartan World Championships taking place on December 3, check out our full guide to the event.

Spartan Trails will take place from midday on Saturday, December 4, 2021, prices start at Dhs367. Tickets available,, good luck

Images: Unsplash