What’s On continues the Dubai Marathon training tips blog, Uncool Runnings, by previewing fun runs and training runs in Dubai this November and December.

– Dubai Marathon 2014
– Ultra-Marathon runner
– Dubai’s wacky sports
– Dubai Olympic bid
– Top marathon tips

“The race calendar is more filled than ever before,” Laurence Arca-Bathe, Director of Urban Energy, told What’s On. She manages group sessions helping both non-runners and runners prep for the race season. “We can now keep training through the summer,” she added. Because distance running without Dubai heat isn’t torture enough…

You only need to skim PremierOnline.com to see that Arca-Bathe is right: there are more races in Dubai than one can throw a sneaker at. Here are some worthy of checking out in November and December, handily broken down by a highly technical (ahem) categorisation system.  

The Dubai Holding Women’s Run takes place on November 7. It aims to ‘offer women’s running races which motivate and inspire women to come set the pace. The run also enables women to be active, fit and involved.’

Then on November 28, you have the Zabeel Club Ladies Run, a 4.5k route throughout Zabeel Park.

You can also check out Sun & Sand Sport’s free get-fit pamphlet, provided as part of the company’s Rewrite the Rules campaign to get women involved in sports as a means to empowerment. The pamphlet mixes a fair smattering of product shots with some genuinely good tips.

Most races these days have a charity component, which is absolutely fantastic. One that stands out is the 7EmiratesRun, a race that has seven solo runners crossing some 575 kilometres, raising money for disabled children. Last year, Dubai-based runners raised Dhs100,000 for Mohammed Ayoub, a toddler suffering from limb deformities. The funds helped him get back on his feet.

While you can’t join for the entire distance, you can get involved with a ‘social marathon’ on  December 2. The marathon trails from Sharjah to Dubai, and you’ll join the 7EmiratesRun team to the finish line. Spaces are limited to 43 runners, so make sure to sign up early.

If you’ve got little ones that like to run, it’s definitely worth checking out races like the Asics 12k, 8k and 4k Run Series. With several ‘junior’ categories (0 to eight, nine to 12, 13 to 18), there’s a race for any age. The run series happens repeatedly, with one on November 28.

Uncool Runnings
– Starter kit
– Warm-up races
– PT advice
– Nutrition help
– Spotted at the races

This race sounds like a bit of a crayon party, and comes with an international reputation of offering a darn good time. Run through festive clouds of coloured powder for a whole host of race-perfect selfies at The Color Run. At 5k, this November 29 race is definitely an approachable distance.

The Creek Striders is one of those running groups that has long been on my radar. On December 5, the running club has organised a half-marathon that winds along the Dubai Creek, followed by an impressive post-race breakfast. “It’s one I strongly recommend if you’re considering the marathon,” said Arca-Bathe.

Running season is in full swing and Nike has another race to add to your calendar. The popular We Run Dubai 10K is back, this time kicking off in Downtown Dubai on December 19 at 7.30am. Prep for it by joining the Nike Running club, which meets Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.


Partially aimed at getting you out to the resort, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara (how’s that for a mouthful?) has a new challenge: conquer the nearby 180metre high dune. Out of every Dhs100 entry fee, Dhs25 will be donated to Operation Smile UAE, a group that allows children with cleft palates to smile properly. Timing is flexible, just be prepared to book in advance.