*** many thanks to David Hunt for this race report ***
Just a short note on the above event which was held on a cold, windswept island called Bahrain. I was a late decision to enter this race but I have had never raced it before and I was looking for pretty much any excuse to avoid a weekend in Jeddah by myself. I flew over the night before the race and found very good accommodation within 5 minutes if the race start at The Seef Mall. Registration opened at 6 the following morning so I wanted to be close by. On arriving on the Island I was greeted by gale force winds that were blowing over fences and temporary barriers and cold ( UK cold!!).
A good sleep and I was up at 5 : 15 to be at registration on time. On arriving at 05:55 it was still pitch black, blowing a hooley, cold and there was nobody in sight except the DJ, a Bahraini called “Hash”. I was beginning to question my decision to do this event and a lie in at the Intercon Jeddah all of a sudden looked very appealing Eventually people started arriving at 615/630 for a race that was due to start at 7 am.
Unsurprisingly the race was delayed by a further 45 minutes while the course was “secured” by the police. The small field of 300 runners eventually started at 0745 and we were off into the teeth of the gale. The course was around the Seef mall and Seef district and took in a complete loop of the new financial harbor. With Dubai marathon coming up I had planned to run around a 1 30 to make it a good workout without getting injured. I settled down to run by myself- the course was well marshaled but I wanted to keep in sight of the people infront as I did not know the course. The wind was unreal – at times it would knock you back when turning directly into it but when it was behind you it felt like you were floating. The course was pretty flat, but not closed roads, and I was running 410s/ 4 12s to begin with.
I struggled around the 14 km point with an up hill section into the gale and only managed a 4 45 but managed to pick it up over the last 5km. Had a tussle with a couple of guys I had been 50 meters behind for most of the race but out sprinted them over the last 100 meters to claim 13th overall in a time of 1hr 30 and 13 seconds and win the 45-49 Male category.