This is the first full road race to take place in Kuwait and three of the race categories have now been accredited by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF Athletics). AIMS is a member based organization of more than 380 of the world’s leading distance races from over 100 countries.
IAAF Athletics is the world governing body for the sport of track and field athletics. Once a course is AIMS certified, only then is IAAF able to recognize any world records which might take place on the course. AIMS recently sent a representative to Kuwait to measure and assess the race path with a special bicycle equipped with a device called a Jones Counter, which is the only means of measurement accepted by the IAAF for the accurate measurement of road race courses.
Following this rigorous assessment, three categories (10 KM, 21 KM, and 42KM distances) of the Gulf Bank 642 Marathon have been AIMS certified. These races now appear in the international calendar of races. In order to appeal to the broadest audience and different fitness levels, there are five race categories, for those who wish to walk or run:
* Family Fun Run for new beginners (5KM)
* Special Run for the physically challenged (5KM)
* Souq Run for regular runners (10KM) * Half Marathon for more advanced runners (21KM)
* Full Marathon (42KM) The Gulf Bank 642 Marathon path passes by many of Kuwait’s landmarks.
It starts at Souq Sharq and passes along Gulf Road, the Kuwait Towers, the Gulf Bank head office, Souq Mubarakiya among other places. The course will be closed to traffic, as per coordination with the Ministry of Interior, to ensure the safety and security of the runners and walkers.
The date of the race (14 November) also coincides with World Diabetes Day (WDD), in order to raise awareness of the growing problem of diabetes in Kuwait, and how exercise and fitness play a role in combating this major health issue. Gulf Bank is also happy to have the Dasman Diabetes Institute as a part of the race.
They will be on hand to raise awareness about ways to combat the alarmingly high rates of obesity and diabetes in Kuwait. Part of the proceeds from the race will be donated to the Dasman Diabetes Institute to assist in their ongoing work. The number 642 was selected because it is the number of muscles in the human body.