(Logan, UT) Altra Elite athlete Jason Schlarb won the inaugural OMAN by UTMB—a extremely challenging 137k trail race over the varied and mountainous terrain of Oman’s Jebel Akhdar, “the green mountain”, in the Middle East. Schlarb and fellow racer Diego Pazos of Switzerland, who ran the majority of the race side-by-side, finished together with a time of 20:45:37.
Due to the rugged and technical terrain, only 300 elite competitors were allowed to race and only about 30% finished. Racers were required to wear helmets at certain sections and even clip onto metal cables on the steep, rocky ascents and descents.
“The course had two sections of extremely steep terrain that needed metal cables, via ferrata, where we were required to clip onto the cables,” Schlarb said. “One section climbed nearly 3,500 ft in less that 2 miles, making more of a marked climb than a trail. The majority of the 137k was extremely rocky and technical.”
Schlarb’s win in Oman rounds out a successful international racing year. In 2018, Schlarb placed second at Gaoligong 55k, first at Desert Rats 55k, fourth at Broken Arrow Skyrace, second at Eiger Ultra Trail 101k, second at Montreux Trail Festival 35k and first at Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile. Schlarb’s 2019 racing schedule includes Ushuaia by UTMB in Argentina in April, Hardrock 100 in July and Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in August.
“OMAN by UTMB should be on every badass trail runner’s list,” Grinius said. “If you are challenged by the impossibility of doing something really tough and want to be crucified on the way, this one is definitely worth consideration.”
Schlarb and Edward’s shoe of choice to tackle the extreme course was the Altra Duo. The Duo is a racing shoe with a max cushion 31mm stack height, yet weighs an incredibly light 7.9 ounces. A breathable mesh upper and a responsive Max-LT™ midsole keeps the shoe minimal and speedy. Grinius wore the Altra Paradigm 4, also a max-cushion shoe but with an Altra EGO™ midsole for plush cushioning with ultimate energy return. A built-in GuideRail™ system helps maintain good form when feet are tired or pronating, while Stabilipods™ add extra support during long mileage.
Stay updated on Schlarb, Edward and Grinius’ successes, along with all of Altra’s Elite and Red Team athletes by following the Team Altra Facebook Page.
While working at a running store, Altra founder Golden Harper was frustrated that modern running shoe technology caused poor running form and had not decreased running injuries. His passion to create a shoe that followed the science produced Altra’s FootShape™ toe box, Zero Drop™ platform and Fit4Her™ female-specific shoes. Since its founding in 2011, Harper and co-founder Brian Beckstead have grown Altra from one to 30 shoe styles, winning multiple Editor’s Choice awards and distribution in more than 60 countries. Join the conversation @AltraRunning and #ZeroLimits on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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