Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Dubai Marathon 2013

Despite the lack of training, I headed to Dubai last Wednesday to run the Dubai Marathon. First task was collecting the race number from the race official hotel which was quite posh. It was well organized and collecting all the stuff took only a few minutes. I was expecting to see many runners there but there were no expo to look at the latest running products and socialize with other runners.

Collecting race number, JW Marriot Hotel
The couple of days before the race spent chilling out, hanging around with my family and of course carb-loading!

On race day it was not easy to get to the start line as metro was not working untill 2pm! And almost everyone had to take a taxi or drive there. The taxi drop-off point was quite far from the start line but I had more than enough time to get there in time. It was quite chilly with a fairly intense fog which remained for a couple of hours.

The course route recorded by my gps watch
Marathon started at 0700 hrs. And probably because there were not too many runners (around 2500) everyone started at the same time and in a single group with the elite athletes in front. The Course is  out-and-back, flat and boring. When you pass the 8km mark the course continues on a straight road and you don't leave that very road until 34km. On Friday's hazy weather you couldn't see much farther and it did help a lot. 

Somewhere between 10-15 km. 

Overstriding! That's not a good running form
I ran the first half of the race in a very good pace (5:15 min/km). With lack of training for this marathon that was quite fast, but once again I was feeling great and had no reason to slow down. The race was farily well organised with supplies of water, Sport drinks and sponges. I would prefer to see some bananas and energy bars as well. 

The second half 
Getting close to the finish line
 It was after 28th km that I had cramps on my quads. I was indeed waiting for the pain, I knew it will come at any minute, I knew I hadn't trained hard for this and now it's time to pay for it. From that point to the finish line my pace dropped and I was running at a slower pace and had to walk several times (less than a minute each time) every time that I had cramps. It was probably due to the lack of magnesium. I just didn't have enough of that before the race. 

After 38 km almost everyone was struggling and there were words of encouragement coming from spectators (who were cheering along the way but mainly in last 6 kilometers) and mainly from the other runners. There were also some 10k runners who had finished their race and came back to cheer for marathoner. This is the part of a marathon that you know you've made it. You know no matter how bad you feel you must go on. And on this marathon I also had my family waiting for me at the finish line. So I had every reason to give it my best. I dragged myself to the 41km mark and speed up from there to finish strong. Finally crossed the finish line in 04:05:37. 

Another marathon is done. Looking forward to the next one.

Ps. You can check out the route, pace, heart rate, etc here


  1. Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

    Training Courses Dubai

  2. Thank you. I try to update it regularly.