Representing @RunQ8Official in Bahrain!

Make no mistake – runners know how to have fun, whenever, wherever!
A recent business trip to Bahrain – the growing country made me decide to have an impromptu run dressed in my favorite running garb.
This past weekend the Q8FootSoldiers left our mark on Bahrain, running from Exhibition St. (Holiday Inn Express) all the way to the Bahrain Fort (and subsequently staging a hostile running takeover)!


this one is for you RunQ8!

Initially, I had planned to run around the whole country (which is put at around 55KM, just in excess of a marathon). However, this plan never made it to fruition as I was later informed that Bahrain was not an island as I previously understood, but a series of interconnected islands via highways. However, having run the length of the Gulf Road in Kuwait numerous times, I believed myself to be no stranger to a little highway excursion.

How wrong I was.

At first I planned my trip meticulously – I used Google maps to estimate the walking distance from my hotel to the Fort. It was placed at 9.1KM i.e. a 45 moderate paced run for me. I used the GPS on my S3 on my arm to track my run via Nike+Running and followed the Google Maps route on my Xperia Z2 in my hand (as I was running without 3G, I had to stick to the plan or risk getting lost in the streets of Bahrain).


The route as proposed by Google Maps


The final route + several wrong turns


a slightly larger map for scale to show the Coast-to-Coast run

The first 3K of the run were very entertaining, Google Maps had plotted an interesting route that took me through residential areas and made me see things I otherwise would not have seen had I not decided to run. Old busy streets and cobbled roads with people walking in every direction forcing me to have to dart amongst them to navigate safely.

It was when I turned onto the King Faisal Expressway (I think) that I had my first detour, despite Google asking me to go straight down, I was unable to comply due to the presence of a military checkpoint (and not a soul in sight other than military personnel). I thought, I can navigate around them, and ran through the market on the left side amongst giant 18 wheelers carrying produce for said market. Most of it stank to high heaven, including the fish market and a few bins full of rotting food.


sunset at the Fort

When I saw that there was no way around the military, I decided to ask them what to do/ where to go. The lone military personnel available, at the sight of me approaching, reached for his rifle and stood to his full height, dwarfing me before him. He did not speak Arabic, or English for that matter, and I had the hardest time asking him how do I get to the fort, which he heard as palace.
I ran back down the side of the road again and towards a pedestrian bridge, crossing it to run along the other side, then joining onto the King Faisal Express on the right shoulder in the emergency lane. Google maps, despite the absence of a connection, continued to show me as a dot moving towards the destination, with a nifty count-down timer for distance. (people really should make an app that guides you to a run depending on your desired distance).
Again, I lost my bearing at the Ahli United Bank office and kept going back to my map and zooming out to find the blue road I was meant to be on.
Much of the land I was running on later was reclaimed land, as evidenced by the shells I found on the ground beneath me. Slowly but surely, I came to the Fort, finally!


The Fort Has Fallen

The destination was definitely worth the journey, and in the end I had added an extra 3KM.

The run back was also an adventure, as I was short on fuel having only had breakfast in the early morning at the hotel and having decided to turn back at 5:00PM as the sun had begun its descent, the cold winds began to blow.


The Bahrain Sky Line

All in all, it was a very rewarding experience to run bearing the crest of something that came from Kuwait. If only for next year we can get running shirts that clearly distinguish us as residents of Kuwait.

Maybe? Who knows 🙂


August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

error: Sorry, Ctrl+C/V disabled; if you wish to use this content please contact us :)
%d bloggers like this: