Ooredoo Half Marathon 2015

9 January 2015

It is a new year, and traditionally Ooredoo Marathon will be the first race on our calendar, Doha folks (well at least for the past 3 years), and as usual, I ran the half marathon as a training run for Dubai Marathon which will happen in two weeks.

This year I ran the half marathon for my employer ORYX GTL. They are really serious in promoting healthy lifestyle among their employees and we had about 40 runners running in the blue ORYX GTL's shirt. Not only they paid for our registration fees and spoilt us with a nice race pack which was better than the one from Ooredoo, they also provided training sessions led by our team captain, Derek Harding and a running talk/clinic by the former Olympian and world champion Liz Mc Colgan.


ORYX GTL PelariStyloYo runners with the legendary Liz McColgan after the talk.
 

Race pack by ORYX GTL. It's an added motivation when your employer is fully supportive of your interest. 


With some of the ORYX GTL Diesel Turbo runners

My pacer for the race was Joost Venne, who was running the full marathon. That was unusual considering he is a 1:25 type half marathon runner, but he was not planning to race it for PB. The plan was to run the half marathon at my targeted marathon pace in Dubai. We agreed to run the first 10.5 km at 5:00/km and a little faster on the way back for 1:45ish finish. We ended up a running a little faster on the way out since we had a nice tail wind and struggling against the wind on the way back. I was really pleased with the course. It started from Katara Cultural Village, passing through the skyscrapers of Westbay and along the beautiful Corniche road all the way to Museum of Islamic Art before we turn around and head back to Katara. Simply beautiful. The out and back course allowed you to catch the glimpse of the elite runners and support all your friends on the other side of the road. Running with Joost and Marios, I was able to maintain my pace and we chatted the whole way. I was happy with the 1:44 finish with average pace 4:53/km, but it was not as easy as It should. Clearly I still need to work on my fitness for Dubai.


Happy days. My wife did well in her 10K race as well. She did a new PB and came 6th in her Age Group. Well done dear.

It was a nice race. I had a chance to catch up with a lot of friends from Doha Bay Running Club (DBRC) which I have not seen for a while including Karl and Anna who flew from Muscat just for this. There were a lot of improvements in this year's race. It has more international race feeling with the elites field, big prize money, nice course which was completely sealed off from the traffic and the biggest most beautiful and heaviest finisher medal ever. Much of these improvements were attributed to the race director Sarah Whittington (my coach) who worked against all odds to put on the race for us to enjoy. There were small number of volunteers but they were top quality (many of them were DBRC members). It was enough to make it up for it. I believe with a right organising team, this race can be grow and be one of THE races in the Middle East.   


With the founders of DBRC, Karl and Anna. And Lucy my triathlon buddy
 
Happy faces everywhere. PelariStyloYo had another great day with many of us achieved our PBs. Special mention to Ila who ran her first half marathon and Nordiba who completed her first 5km race.


The bling. You cant complain when the finisher medal was this awesome. Thank you Ooredoo.



Race Statistics
Position Overall: 66/374
Position Gender: 58
Position Age Group: 9
Gun Time: 1:44:24
Nett Time: 1:44:18

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