What’s On profiles endurance races in UAE, including Desert Warrior, M1 Run at Media One Hotel, Wadi Adventure, Wadi Bih Run, Spartan Race.

– VIDEO: Desert Warrior
– Best running tracks
– Dubai’s wacky sports
Colour Run pictures
Spartan Race news

If you think endurance challenges like marathons and triathlons are great in theory but unpleasant in practice, you’re not alone. For those who want to get their adrenaline pumping and waistlines shrinking in 2015, you could instead turn to assault courses, which manage to be devilishly difficult and fiendishly fun.

Obstacle races are popping up all over the place, with a variety of races that cater to all abilities with most emphasising on finishing rather than aiming for the best time. Many also strongly encourage team entries, allowing entrants to rely on the support – or laughter – of friends when the going gets tough (which it undeniably will).

Here are a few of the muddiest, sandiest, and scariest endurance obstacle courses 2015 has to offer, all of which still have spaces left…

This race is called a run, but ‘torturous trudge’ might be more apt. The all new M1 Run asks you to tackle seven floors of car park ramps followed by 33 floors of stairs at the Media One Hotel. You can run individually (Dhs99) or as part of a relay (Dhs399 per team) and participants must be over 21. By the way, just so you know, 33 floors equals 700 steps. We reckon you’ll be counting every single one.

January 17
Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City, Dubai, 10am, Dhs99. Tel: (04) 4271000. premieronline.com

M1 Run - endurance races in UAE

This is the seventh edition of the hardcore WAR series. Located at the base of Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, athletes climb, crawl, and run through the adventure park before jumping in the rapids and swimming to victory.

January 17
Wadi Adventure, Al Ain, 9am, Dhs225. Tel: (03) 7818422. premieronline.com

Wadi Adventure Race - endurance races in UAE

Hundreds of athletes will tackle more than 1,000m of ascent from the Musandam peninsula through the stunning Wadi Bih canyon in the 23rd Salomon Wadi Bih Run. The solo race is on Friday February 6, with runners attempting 72km, 50km, or the new 30km route. Relay teams run the 50km course on Friday or the 72km on Saturday February 7. Teams of five must have at least one female. The relay ranges from 1.5km to 4.2km, and individuals take turns to run each stage while teammates travel in the support vehicle. Four members of each team must run the first and final stages together. Registration closes on January 16. Entrants must supply passport and visa details in advance to cross the border at Dibba. All races will start and finish at Dibba’s Golden Tulip Hotel. Runners can stay in the hotel or camp on the nearby beach.

February 6 and 7
Golden Tulip Resort, Dibba, Oman, 6am, Dhs250. Tel: (052) 6453581. wadibih.com

Wadi Bih Run - endurance races in UAE

Another military-style obstacle course to hit the UAE is the Reebok Spartan Race presented by X Dubai, a 5km timed-race that challenges participants to conquer over 20 obstacles over thick dunes of mud and sand, at the Jebel Ali Racecourse. Spartan Race is one of the world’s most popular obstacle race series that challenges entrants to “discover their inner warrior”. What’s On can exclusively reveal that mud pools, rope climbs, barbed wire trenches and a ‘slippery wall’ will all be included somewhere along the race. To make the obstacle course even more challenging, Spartans who don’t complete an obstacle will be directed to a ‘burpee station’ – located next to each obstacle – where they must endure 30 burpees before being allowed to continue.

February 20

Spartan Race - endurance races in UAE

After the success of their first instalment in October last year, The Desert Warrior Challenge is back bigger and tougher than before. Billed as the most extreme military-style endurance obstacle course in the UAE, the 5k and 10k courses are strewed with hurdles that’ll see you running through flames, climbing over walls, crawling through tunnels and tackling them all in a team or individually. While the course design and obstacle layout is still under wraps, we do know that the DWC is moving emirates and will take place at Yas Marina this April. That means a lot more water-based obstacles as well as the standard cargo net structures, ice dunks, and monkey-bar tomfoolery that are now synonymous with the race. Book your place in January and you’ll pay the early bird rate of Dhs365.

*NEW DATE* April 24
Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 7am. Tel: (052) 6543617. Taxi: Yas Marina. desertwarriorchallenge.com

Desert Warrior Challenge - endurance races in UAE