Tripoli, 22 November 2013:
The eighth Libyan Challenge – a 220 kilometre long-distance run through the country’s southern desert – is the . . .[restrict]latest November event to be postponed, following the recent unrest in Tripoli.
“The race has been postponed by the Ministry of Tourism,” one of the organisers, Abobakar Karnafoda, told the Libya Herald. He said that the race would be rescheduled but the Ministry of Tourism had not yet decided on a date. It could now take place in December or January, he added.
This year’s race had attracted 20 confirmed runners. Most of these were from Europe but several Libyans were also to have participated.
The two-day race, which was due to start on 25 November, had been organised with the Ministry of Tourism as a part of a gradual drive to help reopen the country’s tourism market.
The annual race is set to be a much bigger event next year. “This year it is a small group but already 200 people have confirmed for 2014,” Karnafoda said. Before the revolution, the race had been an important one amongst the long-distance running community, he said, adding that one race had attracted hundreds of participants from 16 countries.
The fastest time any runner has completed the gruelling 220 km race was 27 hours, Karnafoda said. This year’s race, he added, had been very well-organised, with security, doctors, and checkpoints with water stops every 20 km. It was also to be monitored, for the first time, by a helicopter. [/restrict]