Thousands of Dubaians have signed up for this year’s Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, and they’ll be jogging alongside a host of pro international runners in town to take part in the 42km challenge on Friday January 27.
Yet if marathons aren’t your thing, there are also 10km and 3km events, and this year the races kick off at Downtown Dubai, instead of Dubai Media City. Following complaints last year from those taking on the 10km, with some runners noting a lack of visible kilometre markers towards the end of the route (agonising!), the organisers are adamant there will be no signage issues this time.
Tom Woolf, lead trainer at the twice-weekly Nike+ Running Club, shares his tips on last-minute preparations for the 10km run.
Get moving: ‘Many of us leave our running preparation to the last minute. You are not alone! Get down to Nike Run Club at Dubai Festival City or Burj Park Island and join runners of all levels for a free running club. A sure-fire way to make sure you are ready. See www.facebook.com/NikeRunningMiddleEast for info.’
Hydrate: ‘In Dubai, with the heat and air-conditioning, we all need to hydrate more than we think. Drink plenty of water – at least two litres every day.’
Sleep: ‘Establish a regular sleep pattern three to four days before the race. Aim to wake up at the same time you will be waking up on race day, after at least seven or eight hours’ sleep. This will ensure your body and mind has the best platform to perform.’
Race day: ‘Get up at least three hours before the start. Eat a light nutritious breakfast. On race days I tend to eat a small bowl of Bircher museli (prepared the night before so there’s no rushing around in the morning). It’s not heavy on the system and is packed full of protein, fibre and slow-burning carbohydrates.’
During the race: ‘The start line will be frenetic and everyone will be jostling for space at the front. Let the serious runners accelerate off and settle into your own race at your own pace. Work out what your average pace is for 1km (the coaches at Nike+ Run Club can help you do this), then stick to a comfortable pace. However, for the last 30 seconds of each kilometre, pick up the pace and push through. You’ll get a real adrenaline kick from crossing each kilometre mark, and with each kilometre you’re one step closer to the finish line.’
The full marathon starts at 7am, the 10km at 7.15am and the 3km fun run at 10.30am, all at Downtown Dubai. Registration for all races is now closed.
Missed the chance to sign-up for this year’s Standard Chartered marathon? Take a look at the next few challenges on the horizon…
Abu Dhabi Triathlon
Saturday March 3 marks the second edition of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, with athletes competing over three very different distances. The swim section will take place in a lagoon shadowed by Emirates Palace Hotel, while the bike portion will ride through the city, crossing Saadiyat Island. The run will head along the coastal boulevard, finishing at the Corniche.
Dhs475 short distance, Dhs695 long distance, Dhs1,022 team relay. www.abudhabitriathlon.com.
Wadi Bih Run
This annual 72km relay run marks its 20th year on Friday February 10. Kicking off in Dibba in Musandam, near the Golden Tulip Hotel, the run journeys up Wadi Khab Shamsi to the top of the mountain, where runners will follow the flat surface before turning to follow the same track back down. Each relay team is made up of five people, and must include at least one female.
Dhs750 per team of five runners. Register by January 27. www.premiermarathons.com.