Motivation Sports


Dec 12, 2023
  • The three-day event is taking place in Al Wathba for the second consecutive year
  • The opening day included a new 3k race course, along with a 5k night race
  • Emirati Abdul Malik Mohamed Sassi triumphed in the 5k night race

Abu Dhabi, 9th December 2023: The 2023 Spartan World Championship, hosted by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, kicked off yesterday with a spectacular array of events as athletes from across the globe descended on the UAE. A compelling local story unfolded during the inaugural 5K Night race as Emirati athlete Abdul Malik Mohamed Sassi claimed victory and set the tone for an electrifying three days of action in the pinnacle OCR event of the season. 

On the opening day of the event, thousands of participants from 70 different nationalities came together to test their strength, speed and stamina in the world-renowned championship, widely regarded as the pinnacle of obstacle course racing.

The Al Wathba desert venue, which took 13 days to build, plays host to the competition for the second consecutive year.

Cherie Bortnick, Vice President, Business Development, Spartan said: “As we launch the Spartan World Championship in Abu Dhabi, the thrill of individuals coming together to test their limits is truly exhilarating. This event is a celebration of human resilience, where participants from around the globe unite to push boundaries, embrace challenges, and showcase their unwavering determination. The excitement fills the air as we witness a collective spirit of adventure, courage, and the sheer joy of overcoming obstacles. Get ready for a weekend that embodies the spirit of pushing beyond boundaries and discovering new levels of personal triumph.”

The elite athletes showcased their abilities in a newly designed 3k obstacle course, which featured a rigorous first-round qualifier, a challenging semi-final, and a heart-pounding grand finale, with Lindsey Webster and Veejay Jones winning the women’s and men’s races respectively and taking home the $20,000 prize.

Webster, from Canada, said: “This victory is just amazing and surreal. Like every World Championship, there are so many nerves coming into it, and we are such goal-setters as athletes. So, when we’re able to pull something off that we trained really hard for it’s just such an exhilarating feeling. My next stop will be in Saudi Arabia to compete in the Tough Mudder Infinty race in AlUla.”

American Jones added: “The last two years have not been a cakewalk for me. It has been a lot of hard work; life threw a lot of things my way. I was sick for months and unable to train, and it’s been a hard build-back. Being able to come out and finish this year with the world title is just validating, and it reminds me that I am worth it, and I can train for this and it’s not a mistake. It’s been tough, so I’m really happy to have this title and it just going to light me up for the years to come,”

The night race, a first-of-its-kind and the latest addition to the championship, illuminated the Al Wathba desert, taking place on the fully lit 5k Spartan Sprint course.

Winner Abdul Malik Mohamed Sassi, a 36-year-old Emirati, said: “Having dedicated countless hours to rigorous training, this victory in the Spartan World Championship’s night race is a culmination of relentless preparation and unwavering commitment. This victory has encouraged me to come back on Sunday and compete in the 10K race.”

The winners were crowned by Ahmed Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Executive Director of the Support Services Sector at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Islam Yasser Sheikh Ibrahim, representative of Bin Hamoodah Auto, the exclusive dealer for GMC and Chevrolet cars in Abu Dhabi, and David Watson, Vice President of Product at Spartan Race.

As the night race concluded, the Sheikh Zayed Festival took over the main stage, featuring live music performances, creating a vibrant atmosphere to cap off the first day of the event.

This year’s Spartan World Championship, hosted by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, promises an unparalleled display of physical prowess, stamina, and resilience. As the championship continues over the coming days, spectators and participants alike are invited to take on the course themselves in the Open Heats. Anyone can enter and registrations are still open, visit

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