Kicking the New Year off with a bang is Dubai’s Palm Run 2018 as athletes get set to take part in races around Palm Jumeirah.
Powered by Runderwear, participants have the choice of taking part in either the 1km, 3km, 5km or 10km distance challenges. Those looking to complete must register prior to the event in the Palm monorail station between January 16 and 18. It’s here competitors will receive their race pack, which includes the all-important race number and T-shirt.
Each race takes part along the East side of the Palm Jumeirah crescent with various turnarounds, signalled by the designated distance markers. Race numbers must be worn at all times during the race, to help record competitor’s times when crossing the finish line.
Participants must not carry electronic devices such as iPods, headphones and smartphones during the race. Prior to the race, athletes must attend one of the race briefings, which take place every 15 minutes in the Athlete’s Village between 6am-7:15am.
Competitors will have access to the Race Village, which opens from 6am and will remain open for one hour after the last competitor has completed their race. The area has various food and beverage stalls, retail outlets and race giveaways, along with medical support. Runs are largely open to all however athletes must be over the age of 18 to compete in the 10km. Every runner gets an Aquaventure wristband, which entitles them to admission on the day of the run for 150 AED per person. Race prices start at 94.50 AED for the 1km kids entry up to 210 AED for those running in the 10km.
On the day of the race itself, Friday January 19, runners must arrive 15 minutes prior to the official start time. It should be noted that athletes are advised not to drive along Palm Jumeirah themselves, instead the Palm monorail will carry runners to the crescent to begin the race. However, only 300 people can take the trip every fifteen minutes, so it’s wise to book tickets in advance.
Medals are given to all those taking part and everyone will have the chance to relax in the Race Village following their event.
PALM RUN ADULTS & SENIORS 10K 7:30am
PALM RUN ADULTS, SENIORS & TEENS 5K 7:35am
PALM RUN TINY TEENS, TEENS & SENIORS 3K 7:40am
PALM RUN TEENY TINY 1K 7:50am
For more info visit www.race-me-events.com
Are you competing in any fitness events in January and February?
Here’s our top six to get involved in!
URBAN-ULTRA BIG STINKER
Friday, January 19
If you are ready for a serious challenge then this may well be the event for you.
Described as one of the toughest solo footraces in the UAE, the Urban-Ultra Big Stinker has three distances available for competitors – 15km, 30km and 45km.
Wanting to test your fitness after the New Year – then this is a must.
START TIME: 7AM
MORE INFO: Urban-Ultra Big Stinker
STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON
Friday, January 26
Over 30,000 runners are expected to take part across Marathon, 10km and 4km Fun Race distances on January 26 – the most ever to participate in the Dubai event.
Registration is still open if you wish to participate or you can still go down and watch some of the best athletes in the world in action.
In the last edition of the race, Tamirat Tola and Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia clinched men’s and women’s titles.
START TIME: 6.30AM
WADI BIH RUN
Friday, February 2 – Saturday, February 3
The profile of the Wadi Bih has increased rapidly since its inception in 1993, and this year’s 50km and 72km routes will be as tough as it gets, as tarmac roads and graded grave tracks will be part of the challenges that take you through the picturesque Hajar Mountains.
The run starts and finishes in Dibba, with the beautiful mountain surroundings of Oman serving as an ideal setting to a gruelling race. It will be an unforgettable experience!
START TIME: From 4.30am (depending on the distance)
MORE INFO: Wadi Bih Run
RAK HALF MARATHON
Friday, February 9
UAE’s premier road race returns for its 12th edition.
Since being launched in 2007, the event, which has become one of the most popular sporting competitions in Ras Al Khaimah, has gone from strength to strength, attracting thousands of competitive and community runners.
And with this year’s fast track, you can look forward to witnessing an exciting race!
START TIME: 6.45AM
MORE INFO: Rak Half Marathon
To gain a true measure of what it takes to be a world leader in any sport it’s best to take a look at the numbers.
For the fastest man in the world it’s Usain Bolt and 9.58 seconds while for the longest jump it’s Mike Powell’s 8.95m and the highest is Javier Sotomayor’s 2.45m.
Impressive figures we can all agree but the numbers needed to become the world’s strongest man are truly staggering.
Indeed, the 2017 champion Eddie Hall flipped a tire weighing 500kg six times, squatted 320kg for 15 repetitions which was the same number he hit for a 160kg Viking Press, while a 26 tonne airplane was hauled for 30m, 472.5kg pulled off the deck in the deadlift before he finished off by lifting five stones ranging from 150kg to 210kg onto a platform.
The sums are colossal but do the maths and the cost is equally as great, both physically and mentally.
A decade-long bid to become the World’s Strongest Man quite literally required blood and sweat but in the end tears of unbridled joy flowed as Hall became the first Briton in 24 years to win the title with May’s victory in Botswana.
Having finished third in 2016 despite competing with dislocated fingers, emotions ran high as the Stoke man fulfilled a deathbed promise to his grandmother by beating Iceland’s Hafthor Bjornsson – aka Game of Thrones’ ‘The Mountain’ – and four-time WSM winner America’s Brian Shaw to victory.
“It’s a fantastic feeling. It’s one of the most alpha-male talents on the planet to be the World’s Strongest Man and I’ve dreamt about it since I was a child,” Hall told Sport360 during an appearance at last month’s Dubai Muscle Show.
“It’s an ambition I’ve always had and then to actually go and hold the title is a very surreal feeling. It won’t really sink in until I’ve watched it back on TV.”
Televised in the UK over New Year, the culmination of great sacrifice has Hall on the edge of mainstream success with offers from the WWE and film industry on the table.
But a regime spearheaded by a 12,000 calorie a day diet with an intake of food from 6am to 10pm has taken its toll.
The 29-year-old built his body up to a peak weight of 440lbs (31stone) to ensure he had the best foundation to employ his marriage of natural strength and power to compete with giant foes.
The daily grind of commitment to brutal training and nutrition came with the surrender of both years off his life and precious time with his wife and two children.
It’s the reason why after lifting the 40kg WSM trophy, Hall announced his immediate retirement from the world stage.
“It’s hit and miss (defending the title). I’ve won the World’s Strongest Man and that was my main goal,” Hall explains.
“If I were to go back now, it was so stressful and I put a lot of pressure on my body to win it.
“I’m only 6ft3 and I achieved a bodyweight of 440lbs and to put it blank if I stay at that weight for so long, I’m going to kill myself.
“That’s why I’ve had to step it down a peg and lose a bit of weight. I’ve taken some control back in my life because it was eat, sleep, train repeat. Strongman is 365 days a year.
“I’m seeing my family for an hour a week and it was getting to the point where my marriage was breaking down.
“I needed that title to cure all those problems and to go back and potentially finish second or third would damage me.
“Why would I go back and risk that reputation? I’ve won it so I can walk away at the very top and live the legacy, be a legend.”
People laughed when I said I was going to win Britains Strongest Man.... Even more people laughed when I said I was going to smash the WR in deadlift and pull 500kg..... But I got the biggest eruption when I said I was going to win THE WORLDS STRONGEST MAN.... You want to know what kept me going and stopped me from giving up...... The naysayers! Not the haters, everyone has haters. I chose to delete haters from my life. The naysayers needed proving wrong. Be whatever you want to be, don't let anyone tell you' you can't do something. Go out and fucking do it, be a champion! Big Love❤️ The Beast😈 Worlds Strongest Man 🏆 @proteindynamix @xploape @strengthasylum @alphadesignsuk @bobosbeard @blakemans @wrightspies @pulseworldwide @getnewage @sbdapparel @giantslive #alphadesign #wrightspies #strengthasylum #giants #giantslive #proteindynamix #bobosbeardoil #beast #beard #deadlift #deadlifts #boss #bosslife #hulk #strong #strongman #strongmantraining #pulse #getnewage #performance #mouthguard #SBD #supports #SBDapparel
WSM 2017 was arguably the strongest to date with every competitor uniformly impressive. By winning several events outright, Hall claimed a well deserved one-point lead over second-placed Bjornsson with Shaw a further three points back in third.
But the competition wasn’t without controversy. Bjornsson was disallowed a rep on the Viking Press with the rules stating that no double dipping is allowed, which in layman’s means push and strict press only with no jerks.
Bjornsson hit 14 clean reps but on his final rep was adjudged to have double dipped. Hall followed with 15 to take the event and 10 points to Bjornsson’s nine which came in handy as it separated the two men overall.
The Icelander lodged a complaint but three judges agreed with the initial ruling and it all worked to stoke the fire of a strongman rivalry which has captured the imagination.
As far as ‘The Beast’ is concerned, Bjornsson simply failed to live up to his moniker and climb the mountain.
“Thor is probably the strongest man never to win World Strongest Man,” he added.
“He’s been on the podium six times now and I came along and snooped everybody.
“Nobody expected me to win but I put my head down for a good two years and nailed it.
“I would have won it last year (2016) but I dislocated my fingers in the heats and this time around there was no way I was going to lose it. I was just so confident coming in.
“Hafthor had the bit of controversy, claiming he was robbed of the title but all I can say is that it’s not a game of cards, you can’t slip an ace in and cheat.
“It’s not that kind of sport. It’s who can lift the most weight from A to B as many times as you can.
“There’s no hiding, there’s no cheating and there’s no deception. At the end of the day he got his a*** handed to him in a strongman competition and the little pussy cat can’t take it – that’s it.”
If Hall does indeed retire from the world stage he will do so having left an indelible mark on the sport.
After all, he is the world’s strongest man who also happens to possess the record for the planet’s most impressive feat of strength.
Just like WSM, though, Hall has little intention of ever attempting to break his half-tonne deadlift.
“The 500kg deadlift was the most dangerous thing I’ve done in my life. It’s probably the most dangerous feat of strength which has ever been achieved,” he says.
“The repercussions of that was the bleeding out of my eyes, my ears and my nose, I lost my sight for a few days after and I literally had a bruised back for about two weeks.
“It set me back and this was like a month before World’s Strongest Man 2016 so maybe it was that which put a dampener on the worlds and made me bust my hand.
“It was a big, big risk and I was lucky not to end up in a wheelchair after that.
“To go and do that again unless there is literally millions of pounds on the table I’m not going to bother.
“I’m not going to risk my life, literally my life, to do something for no return. I see it as I was the first man to deadlift half a tonne. There is no one even close to me at the minute but if someone was to come along and deadlift 501kg, who gives a s***? I was the first man to do 500 and that is the truth.”
Hall is not wrong, because the numbers simply do not lie.
On going into the WWE
“We’ve been approached by them and it’s something we’ll look at but I’m doing so well with all the appearances, endorsements and all the potential TV work coming my way so I’m just biding my time.
“Me and my manager are just going to pick the best option and go from there.”
This is what a 6' 3". 30-1/2 stone / 420lbs strongman looks like...Been working so hard since worlds strongest man last august and my size and strength are evident and there's still more to come... "don't ever put a limit on me because I will prove you wrong every single time" Big Love The Beast @proteindynamix @xploape @strengthasylum @giantspro @alphadesignsuk @bobosbeard @wrightspies #alphadesign #wrightspies #strengthasylum #giantspro #proteindynamix #bobosbeardoil #beast #beard #deadlift #deadlifts #boss #bosslife #hulk #strong #strongman #strongmantraining
Favourite moment in the sport aside from WSM victory
“Doing the record deadlift with Arnold Schwarzenegger right beside me.
“That was a very special moment for me because two of my life goals were to shake hands and make friends with Arnold and the other was to set a world-record deadlift.
“I managed to kill two birds with one stone and that was just perfection.”
On cutting weight in the future
“I’ve got another year in the sport because I’m contracted until January 2019. Once that contract is up, I will be looking to shred up.
“Not to a bodybuilding standard but it would be interesting to see what a 420lbs man could cut up to.
“I can log that journey with the fan base maybe make another documentary out of it. It’s something I want to see let alone the fans because I want to see what I can do with my body aesthetically having done the strength side of things.”