Race Dates: Sunday 21st May 2023 (DXB Ski Run) and Sunday 28th May 2023 (Yas Mall Run)
Race Report by: Steven Lewis
UAE Race Report Double Special – The Indoor Edition.
As the temperature starts rising for summer the Middle East gets creative with their sporting events. This allows them to continue for as long as possible while keeping the nation active. Sunset, sunrise and mall runs are common events and a healthier alternative to the 40-50 degree heat. I found out recently temporary back pain on a run can be a sign of dehydration and don’t get me on the air quality due to sand particles.
My first indoor event for 2023 was the Dubai/DXB Ski Run. This had distances of 2.5, 5 and 10k and gave runners the opportunity to run laps up and down the slope within the Mall of the Emirates. Imagine Snozone in Castleford and being greeted with a nice refreshing -4 degrees after being in 30 degrees (at 6am) walking across the car park. In the waiting area there was a real mixture of outfits, from vests and ‘slicks’ to full blown hiking gear! I didn’t know what to expect so opted for striders’ T-shirt, shorts, trail trainers and gloves!
From the waiting area we were called to the slope entrance as per our start times. Once you walked through the entrance the temperature drop hits you! On the start I went hell for leather (on the flat!) until I turned the corner and hit the slope! From there everyone started walking due to the depth of the snow and the gradient. Downhill gave a chance for the brave to catch up some time but at the risk of falling! You had to count your laps or, as suggested use the lap function on your watch. At 4 laps for the 5k I was happy it didn’t opt for the longer distance because it was 1) hard work and 2) I’m sure I would have been bored of the route by then. After the race you were met with a fancy medal (the size of an 80’s VW badge), an açai and berries breakfast bowl, fruit, water and gaterade. It was a fun experience but made me realise with all the flat landscapes around here I don’t miss running up Sheffield’s hills!
On Sunday 28th May I took part in my 3rd Yas Mall run. The event is open to the same 3 different distances which really encourages all ages/abilities to join in. Again I opted for 5k as I know from experience 2 laps of the mall is about enough. The distances are always questionable due to GPS issues indoors and the variations in the route you can take around the course. Running in a mall is always a good ankle workout due to the tight turns and polished titled floor (and that before sweat and spilt water). After the race you received a wooden medal with water and fruit. Next up is the Formula Run 2023 (an indoor loop of Ferrari World).