EXCLUSIVE: Find out what's involved in the Desert Warrior Challenge
What’s On exclusively reveals Desert Warrior Challenge in Dubai details, including obstacles, training classes and where it is – JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort.
You’ve just belly-crawled through a narrow, concrete tunnel. Ahead of you, after a 100m dash up a dune, monkey bars slant upwards. This is kilometre five of ten. You’re bruised. You’ve swallowed sand. You’re exhausted. But a “Come on man, you can do it” from your teammate makes you take the leap. For a glorious second, you think you’ve got it. Then you plunge down into a pool of icy, muddy water. Your muscles scream in protest. But for some reason, you keep going.
Why? Because this is the Desert Warrior Challenge, Dubai’s first 10km extreme obstacle course race, and quitting is not an option.
Lauded as an extreme military-style endurance obstacle course, the Desert Warrior Challenge involves a 10km track of up to 24 different obstacles that participants must tackle in a team or individually. Most of the course design and obstacle layout is still under wraps – and still being built – but What’s On got a sneak peek of two of the nastier obstacles. Read on if you dare.
This aptly named hurdle is two obstacles in one: first you’ll plunge into a water pit before climbing six metres up a rope to ring the warrior bell. Then you’ll have to scramble over an eight-metre cargo net before whizzing down a rubber slide into a muddy pool of water.
The Giant Quarter Pipe
Warriors sprint up the quarter-pipe obstacle and enlist the help of teammates to pull them over the summit. The pipe will be coated in grease and oil, a combo that might send you right back from where you came. And ruin your manicure.
Race day details
– Arrive one hour before your scheduled race time.
– Sign in and register with your ID and collect a wristband.
– Go to Base Camp, the main arena for spectators and participants, where there will be music, food, drinks, family entertainment and a climbing wall.
– Move to the warm-up tent 15 minutes before your wave begins.
JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Dubai, Fri 7am to 4pm, Dhs315 to Dhs475 (depending on race category). Tel: (052) 6543617. Taxi: JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort. desertwarriorchallenge.com
GET IN SHAPE BEFOREHAND
This über cool graffiti-clad, neon gym is offering special rates exclusively for desert warrior challengers. You’ll be put through your paces during a gruelling one-hour circuit session that includes pull-ups, planks, burpees and sprints with sandbags.
Umm Suqeim Road, Dubai, Sun, Tue and Thur 7am and 6pm, Fri 9am, Dhs100. Tel: (04) 3232323. Taxi: Opposite LuLu Hypermarket. desertwarriorchallenge.com/warehousegym
These crossfit specialists have teamed up with Desert Warrior Challenge to give participants specific training in preparation for the event. Get race ready with bear crawls, kettle bell swings and a lot of rope climbing.
Engine Gym, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, Mon 8pm to 9pm, Wed 6pm to 7pm, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 3266367. Taxi: Next to Jumeirah Plaza. desertwarriorchallenge.com/innerfight
FIVE MINUTES WITH… Troy Gillham, director of Desert Warrior Challenge
What inspired you to create this obstacle race? We’ve all watched films where actors race through an assault course and thought, “I want to try that.” The problem is, very few people actually get the chance to try. We wanted to provide a platform for people to get out there and test their endurance while having a lot of fun.
Talk us through the races. We have two courses that participants can choose from. The Fearless Warrior is a 5km long with 14 obstacles. The main event, the Desert Warrior, and the Ultimate Warrior, are both 10km with 24 obstacles. The Ultimate Warrior is a timed race for the serious competitor. Tickets are selling fast, but check facebook.com/desertwarriorchallengeme to win a free entry ticket.
It sounds similar to other races around the world such as Tough Mudder and the Spartan Race. While we’re modelling the DWC on the typical assault courses around the world, ours will bring a bit of extra Arabian flair. We might not have that much mud, but we certainly do have a lot of sand, so expect plenty of quicksand challenges.
How safe is the course? Our structures have been tested by the civil defence authority, and we’re in partnership with the Dubai Sports Council who handle all the necessary medical support and emergency facilities.
Why should people sign up? You’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line and the camaraderie built through overcoming the challenges as a team will be rewarding too.