Run day Monday: beach run Muscat Ministries

In front of and around the Ministries District, Muscat: 5km

Muscat Ministries District run

Map courtesy of MapPedometer.com. Route 512353.

I’m a sucker for a run along a beach so, having moved to a city on the sea, you can expect the next few Run day Monday entries to feature beaches along the Muscat coast as I run-splore around my new home.

Staying in Al Khuwair for the first few weeks, I’ve been just over Sultan Qaboos road from the Ministries and, beyond them, the sea. I haven’t settled in to a new running rhythm yet, which is unfortunate as I’m piling on the pounds, but when I do run, this is the route I follow for a neat 5 – 6 kilometre trot.

Khuwair run starting marker

Khuwair run starting marker

There’s an easy landmark whichever side of Sultan Qaboos you start from: once you reach the complex with City Seasons Hotel and the Red Tag building to the south of the road, you’ll spot the large, symmetrical fountains to the north which mark an entry road to the Ministries district, and beyond them the Embassies and the beach. There’s a handy overpass nearby if you want to park up near all the shops and walk across to start your run. Park just past the overpass by Muscat Bakery if you want to return to some great food – eat in or take away!

From the overpass, run between the two fountains and head north to the beach. You’ll have to dog-leg a little to your right and then continue straight again. You’ll hit the beach just after the 1km mark.

Prints in the sand

Prints in the sand

Running out towards Shatti

Running out towards Shatti

The beach is not wide, but enough for you to choose your level of challenge. For a hard, straight run, run through the dunes where the sand is compacted by use from occasional vehicles. If, like me, you enjoy a barefoot run with the sea between your toes, this area is safe enough to stow your shoes and socks in a dune while you bathe in the glory of a few kilometres along the flat, wet, surf-licked sand. If you’re ready for a real workout, the sand here is very soft and powdery and a short distance in the dry sand will have you sweating like a beast.

The run has a natural turnaround point at almost exactly 2.5km where an inlet divides this beach from the much more popular and crowded Shatti beach. You can turn around and run back the way you came. I have yet to investigate whether you can turn off the beach here and join the road to complete a nice circuit – although that would mean forgoing the ‘stow the shoes in a dune’ option.

The fountain marks the start

The fountain marks the start and end

What kind of beach runner are you? Soft sand, hard workout, or toes-in-the-ocean?

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