Scotch and I took part in the Dubai 10k today. It is held as part of the Dubai Marathon. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Dubai event without being the biggest in something or other. Not to disappoint, this year’s marathon is the richest long distance running event in history with prize-money of USD 1,000,000. Well, the money sounds great but, alas, my marathon days are over.
The 10k is 2 laps around Za’abeel Road. I finished a disappointing 60 minutes and 34 seconds. I had hoped to run faster than my Scotland Run 10k (59:51) from last year but there were a few challenges in this race:
1) Warmer Weather – Scotland Run was in NYC in April so the weather was cooler (60 degrees?) and it was very overcast with slight drizzle that day. Today Dubai high was 71 degrees (21 Celsius), sunny with no cloud cover so real-feel of of about 80 degrees (26.5 Celsius).
2) Lack of Mile/Km Markers – Dubai 10k had no mile markers nor kilometer markers so you had no idea what pace you were running or how far you were from the finish line. NYC races have markers at every mile including a time-elapsed clock.
3) Lack of Water Facilities – Dubai 10k had only ONE (yes, only ONE) water station. This was at the half-way point. And get this – instead of small paper cups of water, they were handing out full 600mL bottles of Aquafina. There was some gatorade in paper cups but the pourer could not keeping up and started handing out the large gatorade bottles as well. So you can imagine how many almost-full bottles of Aquafina and Gatorade were thrown to the side of the road after having taken one sip – what a waste of water and poor planning!
I think the race directors could have taken a couple of pointers from the New York Road Runners Club but it just goes to show how spoiled I was to have raced in a city that has 1st-class planning.
So I guess all-in-all I did an okay run given the weather and water challenges. The course wasn’t anything to speak about – it was 2 loops from one roundabout to another around a construction site (not surprising, this being Dubai) but the views were nice – Emirates tower, World Trade Center, Burj Dubai skyline.
One odd thing did happen – during lap #2, Scotch and I saw a young deer that had somehow ended up on the course and was running in the middle of a group of runners. Damn I wish I had my camera!