Dubai Creek Striders Half Marathon 2012

At first I was not very keen on doing the Dubai Creek Striders Half Marathon as I was not supposed to race for at least a month after my marathon, plus I am still sick. But since almost everybody in my running club will be taking part, and it will be on my birthday, so I guess what the heck.  This will be my last race for 2012. The only problem was, I don’t have any more leave. So I can only leave for Dubai after work. By then it will be already late. We only arrived at the hotel 15 minutes to 11pm on the race night. Thanks Anna and Karl for collecting our race kits. It was very challenging for a couple travelling with 3 little kids (all under the age of 3) without a help. Luckily we went with our friend, Yasir and Munirah but they too have 3 kids in tow albeit older. It was 1 am by the time we get everybody settled down, and I was already tired and hungry. We only had instant noodle for supper. Interesting choice for carbo-loading you might say.  Yasir on the other hand will take part in his first race in many years, so I would expect a tough day at office for both of us. True enough, we nearly missed the race. Apparently we did not set an alarm, though both of us were adamant that we did. I only woke up at 5.30AM, an hour before the start. I left the hotel without taking any pre-race meal and drink and my flu was better this morning. With Clarinase, anti-histamine pill, cough mixture and paracetamol  in my system, I just hope I won’t be tested for doping.
We made it to the race village just in time. I met some of my friends from Doha Bay Running Club and we were all very excited It was like our weekly Friday run but in Dubai. We were asked to proceed to our corral soon after. I lost Yasir and did not manage to wish him good luck. But I am sure he’ll be fine. I joined the first corral and found myself among the fastest runners in my club. I honestly don’t think that I am at their level yet, but it’s not every day I got the chance to start near the front eh. So bring it on.
I ran my best first 10km and on the right track to finish the race sub 1:45. But not long after halfway, I got very tired and slowed down. I started feeling sick and coughing. My heart rate was near my maximum high right from the beginning. I was also over heated. I made a silly mistake by wearing a full body compression underneath my club jersey. I thought It going to be a cool 15 degree, but boy I was wrong. It was hot 28 degree and humid. I looked silly in all those clothing. I found it harder to keep running and had to walk more. The challenging course was not helping either. The race was run on every kind of surface imaginable. Most of the race was run on brick or concrete promenade and some grass, earth and sands sections. Then there were sharp turns, couple of bottle necks (with a width of about 1 m), steep ramps on bridges and a long tunnel under the creek.  With all that obstacles, I would say that the course was more appropriate for an urbanthon race than a half marathon. I finally crossed the finish line in 1:50:11. It may not the sub 1:45 minutes as I would have liked but to get a PB on this race was a good enough reason for a celebration and a perfect birthday present for me. Full details on my Garmin Connect HERE.
Love my Bib No. The lucky one
This was not the race you would go for a PB and the course was not measured to AIMS standard nor it is an IAAF label race, but it offers a change of scenery and experience you would not get from normal races otherwise. The hospitality and organisation was fantastic and the free post-race breakfast (included in your race fee) at the luxury Quayside restaurant must be the best post-race meal provided by any organiser ever. Would I come back in the future? Definitely.

My 6th Half Marathon Medal

With Yasir and Angie Salter

Race Statistics
Bib No: 88
Nett Time: 1:50:11
Gross Time: 1:50: 24
Average Time: 2:03:35
Rank All: 458 / 2003
Rank Age Group: 95/471
Rank Malaysian: 1/7
Shoe: Nike Pegasus


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