Residents train for weeks at the Warehouse Gym in preparation for this weekend’s Desert Warrior Challenge. Image Credit: A.K Kallouche/Gulf News

It’s obstacle course race (OCR) season and it kicks-off with UAE’s own Desert Warrior Challenge (DWC) this weekend, October 20.

DWC is back on its fourth consecutive year and Dubai Land District plays host to the gruelling yet fun race. Being an OCR, the warriors must exert tremendous effort doing practically every movement their bodies are capable of. They will run on sandy dunes, jump over walls, crawl under barbed wires, swing on ropes, and hold on for dear life on many obstacles to name a few.

“This weekend’s event sees the return of all our warrior’s absolute favourite obstacles, including crowd-pleasers 1/4 Pipe and The Beast, plus the inclusion of some all-new gut-wrenchingly thrilling obstacles that have been designed to test the skill level of even the most seasoned obstacle course racer… We’re expecting just over 3,000 warriors on the course, with competitors ranging in age from six to 60,” says Troy Gillham, managing director for Desert Warrior Challenge.

Everyone can take part in the Desert Warrior Challenge — beginner, intermediate, advanced; even kids can join in. DWC has categories according to age and fitness levels. There’s the 1-2km Junior Warrior for ages 6-15, the 5km Fearless Warrior for anyone above 16 years old who want to sprint to the finish, and the 10km Ultimate Warrior for 16 and above who belong to the category of adrenaline and adventure junkies, otherwise known as the crazies. And there are thousands of us.

To prepare the warriors for battle, free trainings were held at The Warehouse Gym in Al Qouz and Jumeirah Beach. DWC registrants took part in tough circuit workouts designed for strength, power, speed, endurance and teamwork with the use of equipment and bodyweight exercises. All to condition the mind and body for a successful run at the exhilarating obstacle course.

It is said that those who sweat more in training bleed less in war, and the warriors sure paid their dues with buckets of sweat for weeks.

With groundwork done, participants, including yours truly, look to Friday for a thrill ride. To finish the Desert Warrior Challenge is to muster every ounce of courage and determination. That’s how it should be, and that’s the only way to welcome the OCR season’s opening salvo.


Name: Desert Warrior Challenge

Location: Dubai Land District

Date: October 20th, 2017

Time: 7.30am - 4pm

To register, go to