Let’s Go Forward Desert Run Review @Forwardinspire @behbehani1938

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As part of the Luminox Running team, this Q8FootSoldier had the opportunity to take part in LetsGoForward’s second race of the season; the Desert Run (scoring Second place in the 5KM).

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Located towards the North of Civilization, the desert run took place on what appeared to be an off-beaten path that once was road. The path was compacted sand for around 80% of it, whilst the rest was soft sand and rock.

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Our review of the race is as follows, firstly, the observations requiring action down the line:

1) Route

A desert run would entail running in the desert i.e. away from civilization in the form of roads, cars etc. At least that was my understanding, I could easily get a “desert fix” by running in the city on any unpaved road, of which there are plenty such as on the stretch of road in front of the Grand Mosque.

The stretch of road we ran was parallel to the main road and easily accessible by cars – although initially a drawback, it was quickly turned into an advantage utilized by the awesome #1 10KM runner Greg Ziembinski (follow him on instagram @Amber_Poland for AMAZING Amber designs in Kuwait) who was accosted by a group of desert goers that blasted music from the car especially for him to a) speed up (rap), b) keep pace (Adele) (or so he claimed :P).

2) Animal Carcass

Yes the race is a “desert race” and one should gain the full desert experience, which should include running on soft sand, compacted sand, eating dust etc. However, what I was hoping to not include was passing by a dead animal carcass located around 300M from the start line, meaning one had to run by it twice. This could very easily have been removed prior to the race as a courtesy to the runners. Right across the other side of the sand dunes were two camel corpses at different levels of decay. You could have made an Unholy Zombie Zoo over the dunes.

zombie sheep

Run Faster Puny Humans!

 

3) Pre-opened water bottles

The 330ML water bottles presented at the race table were pre-opened. Now this could mean one of two things:

i) in an effort to reduce the effort requirement on runners to open bottles, the bottles were opened in advance.

ii) pre-opened bottles were pre-used and refilled.

Personally, I have no qualms regarding refilled water – its good for the environment. However, I would prefer if this fact were acknowledged and informed by the organizers in an effort of transparency (we held a quick litmus test at the table – of the 9 bottles attempted to open, only one was not pre-opened), to inform the runners that their health is taken into consideration and cite where the water was refilled from and the extensiveness of the cleaning process for the recycled bottles (if any). Or if it were simply a fact of reducing their effort in opening the water; please mention that so that runners do not think to extremes of recycled water bottles and refilled water.

4) Return path demarcation
The path we ran was wide and accommodating for several people; it would have been nice to have a separation of sorts between those running towards their target distance turnaround and those returning, in an effort to avoid any clashes. Given the width of the path this is a moot point for this race, however if a larger number had registered, it could have proven detrimental.

5) 5K Runners

This point was mentioned previously in our last review of the LetsGoForward Road Run; no podium finish for the 5KM top 3. Last time we mentioned that their timings were not monitored, that was quickly remedied (thank you). I do not say this as I finished 2nd in the 5KM (as acknowledged by the organizer on his Instagram account  behind my friend who came in 1st, I was stressing this point from the last race – since the 5KM is touted as its own standalone distance, then it should also be subject to a plaque prize; the cost is negligible as it would only include an extra 6 plaques for the top 3 runners of both categories. It is a small requirement that would have immense gratifying results.

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Now, the positives of the race:

1) Special honorary mention must go to Mark Platten, cheer-master and elite runner that paced up and down the track motivating all runners through his megaphone, definitely amassing the most distance in the race.

2) The race started on time, much more than can be said about the “other” race that took place that day that was delayed by a whopping one hour.

3) The path was simple and direct, a far cry from the “other” race which was a repeated circuit and fell short of the promised distance.

4) The heartwarming support that culminated in the final minutes of the race for the last two runners, who were doing their second 10KM and were approaching the finish line. MC Bader requested the runners to “cheer on” the final two; he did not however say how though.

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The response was earth-shattering; all the runners ran towards the final two and cheered them with encouraging words whilst following them to the finish line. Tears of joy were apparent on their faces as they crossed the finish line.

All in all, it was a good race.

Looking forward to the rumble in the city, soon!

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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