Thousands of runners will be rising with the sun, lacing up their trainers and hitting the pavement as they take part in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon tomorrow morning.
Participants, from first timers to seasoned runners, have converged on Dubai from all over. Gulf News spoke with some of its readers gearing up for this year’s marathon to find out what running means to them, why they are taking part and what they are doing to prepare.
Tomorrow, after weeks of training, Omar Abu Omar will be heading for the finish line in the upcoming 10kms run.
This year will be his second time participating in the Dubai Marathon.
To prepare, the Dubai resident has been running three to four times a week, switching between light jogging, interval running and long distance jogging around the city. To build up endurance he has been squeezing in a cardio workout and swims or plays football whenever he can. But such preparations are nothing new this runner.
The 2012 Dubai Marathon was the first competitive run he participated in and having really enjoyed the experience, he went on to participate in eight other competitive runs that year.
He said: “I never took part in such runs and the Dubai Marathon was a good start. The route was beautiful and the sense of achievement after the run is priceless.”
This is a sentiment Dubai-based Hajer Al Mosleh shares.
She said: ‘It’s addictive; I did my first marathon in 2003, in Virginia in the US. It gets in your blood — once you finish one you want to run another.”
This year will be her fourth time participating in the Dubai Marathon, an event she always looks forward to.
She said: “It’s a beautiful marathon. The community is so involved, with people getting up very early to cheer you on, give you water and brownies. And the children in their pajamas, look up to you, you can see it in their eyes that they will be future runners.”