Mark your sporting calendars: Obstacle races in the UAE
What’s On has details of obstacle races in the UAE this April, including DXB Gauntlet, The Sand Pit, NeoRun and Desert Warrior Challenge.
Best for: Non-runners
The Gauntlet is a challenge made up of nearly 40 different structures that participants will need to navigate from start to finish as quickly as they can, but unlike other obstacle courses around the country, this one strictly focuses on the obstacles themselves; you wont be running the length of a football pitch to get to each challenge. There are different gender and age categories, with the top three in each category winning a prize. Get to the finish line first and you’ll earn Dhs1,000, second gets Dhs500 and third place wins Dhs250.
April 3 and 4
Dubai International Marine Club, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Fri and Sat 10am to 7pmDhs150. Tel: (056) 2617359. Taxi: Barasti. facebook.com/dxbgauntlet
Best for: Disco-lovers
This is the world’s first UV paint, night fun run. Participants start out in plain clothes, and finish decked out in a spattering of neon UV paint. At the start line, neo-runners walk, skip or sprint through an alley of cannons packed with glowing paint that fire intermittently. For the next 5km, runners pass through different rave stations complete with UV obstacles, and laser shows transforming the entire course into a giant outdoor disco. The finish line spills runners out in front of a main stage where the lights and sounds are kicked up a notch for an electric dance party.
Dubai Autodrome, Dubai Motor City, Dubai, 7pm, Dhs165. Tel: (02) 5570334. Taxi: Motor City. neorun.com
THE SAND PIT
Best for: Non-militant types
Billed as a friendlier version of the Spartan Race in February – without the formidable burpee stations – The Sand Pit hits Al Barari this month. Fifteen challenges – think swinging on monkey bars and jumping over three-metre-high walls – require balance, strength and co-ordination in this 10km untimed race. The Gladiators-style Hang Tough challenge looks especially nasty.
Al Barari, Dubai, 7am, Dhs360. Tel: (04) 4526128. Taxi: Opposite Falcon City. thesandpitrun.com
Best for: The Amazing Race fans
This adventure race challenges teams of two over a variety of obstacles that will test their mental abilities, physical fitness, navigation skills and teamwork. Inspired by the popular TV show The Amazing Race, teams receive clues along the way leading them to their next task. You’ll drive in your own cars to get between challenges and don’t forget it’s a race to the finish line. If that’s not enough to get your competitive juices flowing, the Dhs12,000 prize for 1st place should do the trick. Team registration costs Dhs250.
DESERT WARRIOR CHALLENGE
Best for: Thrill-seekers
When running in circles is getting old and circuits just aren’t cutting it, you can always turn to the Desert Warrior Challenge to leave you trembling in your trainers. Moving away from Dubai and towards the capital, the extreme military-style endurance obstacle course is pitching up on Yas Island for an unforgiving 10km course packed with over 20 military-style obstacles to test your strength, stamina, and mental grit. The kicker: these calf-cramping obstacles can’t be conquered solo — competitors must rely on their fellow warriors to give them a boost. You can bet there’ll also be a few water-based obstacles thrown in too.
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 7am, Dhs530. Tel: (052) 6543617. Desertwarriorchallenge.com
WADI ADVENTURE RACE 9
Best for: Hard-core fitness buffs
Held at the foot of the formidable Jebel Hafeet mountain, WAR is as unyielding as its surroundings. Now in its fourth year, this beast is recognised as the toughest, yet (strangely) one of the most enjoyable races in the country. You’ll be crawling through tunnels, leaping off wobbly inflatables and swimming against the rapids, before dragging heavy-duty sandbags across the desert. It’s not easy, but the camaraderie will see you through.
Wadi Adventure, Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, Dhs225, 9am. Tel: (03) 7818422. wadiadventure.ae
THE NORTH FACE NIGHT ROCK RUN
Best for: Adventurers
This one is not for the faint of heart; not only does this new race go through the winding wadis, dirt tracks and tough ridges of Wadi Shawkah, it takes place under the cover of darkness. Open to 500 experienced and first-time trail runners, you can choose between a 5, 10 or 15km course. An after-party encourages runners to make their most of their surroundings, too, with everyone invited to a BBQ and campfire with live DJ.
Wadi Shawkah, off Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road, Sharjah/Fujairah, Dhs200. premieronline.com.