If a 10-kilometre obstacle course shrieks “holiday”, then Dubai is the town to be in. We look at three great races to sign up for in 2015.
The UAE is no stranger to hosting high-stakes sporting events, with the likes of the Dubai World Cup the world’s richest horse race – and Rugby Sevens staple annual events in the emirate. While watching the pros do their stuff is great entertainment, the most fun sporting events are those in which the average Joe (or better, talented amateur with a bit of training) can take part. Here are three such events that range from beginner-friendly, to fit for only the toughest of amateurs.
Dubai Desert Road Run
The thought of running in the desert may sound daunting, but Dubai Desert Road Run is actually one of the more inclusive sporting events around. Why? For one, the organisers split the field up into eight age groups – so whether you’re aged 14 or 99, there's a slot for you.
The main event is a 10-kilometre route comprising two laps starting in Dubai's Sevens Stadium and heading out around the traffic-free back roads surrounding the ground, before looping back into the start/finish area. For the less hardcore runner, the three-kilometre “fun run”, which sees participants complete a shortened one-lap course, provides a slightly more relaxed option.
The final race of the season starts at 6am on Saturday, June 6. Be warned, though – it’s not called “The Summer Scorcher” for nothing!
The Sand Pit in Dubai
This 10-kilometre obstacle course places the focus on helping others, rather than setting the fastest time. The Sand Pit is an event that's far from easy, but at the same time, anyone over 18 years of age can take part. The organisers stress that the day is all about having fun, so if an obstacle is simply too tough, skip it without penalty or shame.
Some of the more challenging obstacles to tackle include crawling under barbed wire and through claustrophobic pipes, swinging on ropes across water and the two-person job of carrying a heavy log through parts of the course. The next race is planned for after the summer on November 6.
Dubai International Triathlon
Unlike The Sand Pit, Dubai International Triathlon is an event that only serious athletes should undertake. Although the venue for this year's race is yet to be confirmed, 2014's event took place in the stunning setting of Atlantis The Palm.
Participants first conquered a 1.9-kilometre swim in the calm waters around the resort, before undergoing a gruelling 90-kilometre ride heading off the Palm towards Sports City, and then returning to Atlantis. Here, they finished with a 21.1-kilometre run on the Palm’s outer crescent, with the iconic Burj al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel providing postcard-perfect views to drive racers on to the finish.
Electric Run in Dubai
After events in Europe, America, Asia and Australia, the popular Electric Run is finally making its way to Middle Eastern shores later this year. This five-kilometre night race combines art with exercise, as the course takes runners through seven themed ‘lands’ decorated with light installations and street art.
Some of the themed lands expected to greet runners in Dubai this November include Rainforest Land, Electric Avenue and Under the Sea.