Success at the Radisson Blu Viking Health Club 3K Fun Run Kuwait!

An active lifestyle is a healthy life style, that is the lesson drilled into us at a young age. Unfortunately, as one grows older and shoulders more responsibilities, time needs to be cut from certain activities, and more often than not, those are the activities which prove beneficial to our well being such as sports, exercise etc.

The Viking Club of Kuwait would have none of that. Yesterday they hosted their Bi-Annual 3K Fun Run race. The early bird catches the worm as the saying goes, and yesterday morning, we were all a-chirping for some worming.

The turn out was GREAT, 130 strong. Men, women and even children all woke up early on a saturday morning to send out a message, to themselves and to the world, that health comes first. Always.

Participants were required to register their names in order to get a race number, and then proceed to board buses that would take them 3K down the road towards the starting point, close to Jumeirah Hotel (formerly Messilah).

At the starting line, a lot of laughs were shared as the instructors took to the warm up session. It was amazing to see many familiar faces, as well as a few new ones that surprisingly either recognized me as the Gangnam Runner from last Novembers KCR Half Marathon, or as the expat with the answers on a forum made to welcome newcomers to Kuwait. Everyone was smiling and happy, ready for an early morning 3K fun run in the blaring sun.

By 9am-ish, the whistle sounded, signifying the beginning of the race. Bedecked in my brand new Adizero’s, I took off. The first thing I realized was that I had stuck the BIB number on the wrong area, gravitating towards my side as opposed to in front of my chest, which caused discomfort as it continually slapped my wrist. Not looking behind, I continued to look forward at the persons ahead of me.

With the sun mercilessly beating down upon the racers, it was an arduous journey to the finish line. I managed to wrestle my way to 3rd place, with 2 runners ahead of me. Focusing on maintaining my speed so as to avoid any runners coming up from behind me, I placed one foot after the other, making sure to study my surroundings to gauge how close we were to the finish line in order to prepare for the final sprint.

Using peripheral positioning, I sensed a runner hot on my tails, forcing me to accelerate, it would be a losing battle however as the 13-year old who would later go on to be the first in his category to cross the finish line, as well as second overall, finally surpassed me.

Now I was 4th, and although 4 is my lucky number, I strove to remedy the situation. As my newly acquired friend in 3rd place turned his head to cough, I saw my opening and immediately sent a message to my pumpers that now was the time to overtake.

The result?

1st Place – Cristian Craita – 11mins28secs
2nd Place – 13-yr old kid – 11mins39secs
3rd Place – Me! – 12mins

Seeing as how the 2nd place winner was under 14, he was first in his category, making me second in mine and third overall.

What was truly amazing was that I have the honor of calling the first place winner a friend and a running partner, a founding member of the Q8FootSoldiers Running initiative (link to our FB page) that meets up every Friday morning to pass the message to the community that running is an exercise that everyone can do. If you can find the motivation to drag yourself out of bed on a Friday morning, get dressed and go running, then you can definitely motivate yourself to run at any time, anywhere. That is the message we strive to deliver.

After the last of the runners arrived, much fun was had in terms of a glorious breakfast courtesy of the Viking Club, and the passing out of the awards for the top 3 in each category.

All in all, it was a great success.

Kuwait is in dire need of more running initiatives such as this, where people from all walks of life, of different ages, join together with a common purpose of enjoying themselves.

There are only 2 official races in Kuwait held every year, RunQ8 10K (in April) and the KCR Half Marathon 10 & 21K run in November.

We need more.

Much more.

The next Viking Health Club fun run is slated for November.

See you there!

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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