Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

The first attempt to run the Jordan Trail began

19 Nov 2017
Jordanian ultra-runner Mohammad Al Sweity and British ultra-runner Alfie Pearce-Higgins are the first to attempt to run the 650km Jordan Trail. They set off from Um Qais on November 17th, with 13 other Jordanian runners accompanying them for the first 17km of the trail. 
“I’m so happy with this experience,” said Al Sweity. “I’ve participated in many long distant races in many countries, but this one is the most beautiful because it passes through historical and touristic sites.” 
Al Sweity is one of Jordan’s leading trail runners. He has competed runs that include the Badwater Marathon in the USA (217km), Marathon des Sables in Morocco (251km) and the India Ultra Marathon (195 km) where he placed second. 
After completing the first three days of the run, Pearce-Higgins said, “These have been a really beautiful and stunning first three days. The trails here are incredible; they probably are some of the oldest trails in the world and people have been walking on them for thousands of years.” He continued, “It’s only two years ago that they were turned in to a single trail and that created a great opportunity for people like me to have an amazing adventure with physical challenges, beautiful scenery, an abundance of culture and history and the chance to encounter amazing hospitality along the way.” 
Pearce-Higgins has completed many races and expeditions including driving across Asia (2012) and Africa (2013), running across the Gobi Desert (2016), cycling through Sierra Leone and canoeing in Ghana (2017). He is also a part-time journalist.
The Jordan Trail Association is facilitating the run in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan Tourism Board, USAID Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority.
For the Jordan Trail Association, this is a trial for a yearly run that could attract athletes from all over the world.
Bashir Daoud, General Manager of the Jordan Trail Association, explains, “This inaugural run is set to become a regular event organized by JTA as an annual fundraiser to support development, promotion and maintenance of the trail.”