The DXB Snow Run in Dubai
The DXB Snow Run in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Buti Al Nuaimi of the UAE and Pia Hansske of Germany were fastest in their respective categories in the DXB Snow Run held at Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, on Friday.

Organised by Dubai Sports Council (DSC) in cooperation with Ski Dubai as the opening act of the two-day ‘DXB Snow Week’, the DXB Snow Run saw a vibrant collection of men and women, representing 46 different nationalities, turn the venue into a carnival despite the early start.

Saeed Hareb, General Secretary, DSC flagged off the race, along with Mohammad El Etri, Director of Majid Al Futtaim Global Snow, and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant General Secretary, DSC.

Running in temperatures below -4C, Al Nuaimi finished at the top of the leaderboard with a time of 17 minutes and 36 seconds in the 3km run. Mohsen Hassan Al Ali, also of the UAE, had the second-fastest time of 17:42, while Great Britain’s George Crewe finished third in 17:50.

In the women’s category, Hansske clocked the fastest time across the three loops of Ski Dubai, finishing in 21:46, while Finland’s Marjaana Rakai was second in 24:04, and Diana Gogitidze of Georgia finished third in 27:10.

The participants included Nick Watson and his son Rio, who are famously known as ‘Team Angel Wolf’. “It’s definitely a challenge,” Nick Watson said as he walked through the snow with his 17-year-old son strapped on his back.

“We are British, but I have lived here 22 years. I think we do prefer the sun. But it’s awesome, well done. Thank you for inviting us,” he added.

Yusra Mansur, an American who finished sixth among the ladies, was also challenged on the snow. “I thought it was going to be easy, but the ice and the incline was really tough. But Alhamdullilah, I managed to finish. I am completely exhausted. It was tough and very challenging, but very good,” she noted.

On Saturday [August 15], participants will have the opportunity to take part in ski and snowboard competitions. Billed as the “Return to Safe Sport” competition, the ski and snowboard event is open to all competent racers, freestyle skiers and snowboarders, and competitions will take place in four disciplines — Slalom Skiing, Giant Slalom, Slopestyle and Big Air.

The ski and snowboard competition will be held in two sessions — from 10am to 2pm, and then from 4pm to 8pm.

The winter and snow sports sector is the third segment to be opened for competition by Dubai Sports Council following weeks of closure due to COVID-19 pandemic. The marine sports sector was the first to open for competition in Dubai with Dubai Offshore Sailing Club’s Summer Series taking place on June 19. The following weekend, Dubai International Marine Club organised a “Dubai Watersports Summer Week” in cooperation with Dubai Sports Council, and six different competitions were part of the event.

Last month, Dubai Sports Council opened the doors for beach sports with the “Beach Sports Week” at Kite Beach, which witnessed competition in five different tournaments involving four sports — FootVolley, Beach Volleyball, Beach Tennis and AirBadminton.

DXB Snow Run results

1. Buti Al Nuaimi (UAE) 17:36
2. Mohsen Hassan Al Ali (UAE) 17:42
3. George Crewe (GBR) 17:50
4. Felix Mate (KEN) 18:06
5. Ahmad Hajjo (UAE) 18:48

1. Pia Hansske (GER) 21:46
2. Marjaana Rakai (FIN) 24:04
3. Diana Gogitidze (GEO) 27:10
4. Olga Zolotova (RUS) 28:16
5. Simona Stanciu (ROU) 29:17