Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tunnels, boats, and gold souks…. a 12 mile run

eid mubarak

My second long run in Dubai coincided with Eid – the end of Ramadan and the fasting period. Traffic at 5am was busy as people flocked to the various mosques for prayer and then off to to family celebrations.

The heat and humidity was through the roof! Starting temp was 89F with 85% humidity. It rose pretty quickly to 96F during the run... with the daily high being around 106F!

This was also my second run with the Dubai Creek Striders. As usual everyone pays 10 dirham (around $2.70) for the lead runners to purchase water and disposable cups as a gas station every two miles or so. I decided to take advantage of the post-Ramadan time - during Ramadan drinking and eating in public during the day was illegal - and run with my fuel belt. This was something that I was very thankful for as the heat was intense and the extra water between the stops was much needed.

There was probably around 35 or 40 of us running through t he Dubai City streets. The run we did the Striders dubbed the “Creek Classic” – basically run to the creek, under the creek, over the creek and then back!  We had to double back a few times when we were trying to follow the creek prayerpaths due to the the mass turnout at local mosques on the water for prayer. Probably a good idea as I don't think it would have been politically correct to for a group of sweaty and scantily clad westerners to run through a throng of white dress (dishdashas) wearing men in the middle of prayers!

So, we got to the creek and negotiated a safe path to the Al Shindagha Tunnel. Thankfully it was the pedestrian underpass and not the actual  road that we used – I was getting a bit worried about the fume inhalation from running through the four lane road. Once safely on the other side of the Dubai Creek the fast runners took the path hugging the creek line while us slower runners to a half mile short cut through the Gold Souk. Cobblestone roadways smelling like incense filled with men going about their morning duties. Some of them taking time to laugh at us and take photos with their cell phones. Once through the tight walkways we met up with the other group at an abras – local passenger boats - station. After a quick water stop we piled onto four abras and headed back across the creek! It was nice to take a bit of a break!

abras 02

abras 01

12 miles is what I ran all up – I switched my garmin off about two miles out from where I had parked the car. I had to walk the final mile or two - it was just too hot, and I was spent. I am so glad I had my own water and I refilled ever few miles at our designated water stops! Towards the end I was wishing I had a camel - not a camelback - I thought a camel would do nicely to get me those miles back to my car, and would be a smart choice of animal based on location, don't you think?

dubai creek striders


scarlet said...

Looks like you reall had fun! that was a great experience! More power! ~ mountain khaki ~

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