Mark your calendars: there is a plethora of obstacles and adventure events coming up in the UAE in the next few weeks. Here’s a few of them you don’t want to miss out on.
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The Sand Pit Run
The Sand Pit is a 10 kilometer obstacle run which is a friendlier version of other obstacle races, in that it is not timed. Organizers stress it is not a race, but rather a personal challenge.
Climb over 3 metre walls, run up sand dunes, slide through freezing cold water and other exciting obstacles along the course. It’s going to be held in one of the greenest and most visually stunning venues in the UAE, Al Barari.
For more information and to register for the challenge, visit The Sand Pit official website at www.thesandpitrun.com.
Friday, April 17
Inspired by ‘The Amazing Race’ (below), Rush-A-Way is an adventure race which will have teams travelling throughout Dubai to complete challenges that will test their mental, physical and navigational skills. The race will be held on Friday, April 17 and there’s still time to register your team before the Tuesday, April 14 deadline.
Teams will consist of two people, who will go from challenge to challenge to collect clues for the next task location. The team that crosses the finish line first will win, so communication will be key.
The tasks will vary in genre, with skills challenges to test accuracy, physical challenges to test speed and strength and mental challenges to test brainpower and logic. It is recommended that each team use their own car and while GPS is allowed, navigational skills will be important to get around.
Tickets for each team are priced at Dh250 and can be purchased here.
Desert Warrior Challenge
Friday, April 24th – Abu Dhabi
The Desert Warrior Challenge is back for its second edition. Moving away from Dubai and towards the capital, this extreme military-style endurance obstacle course is setting up on Yas Island for a 10km course packed with over 20 military-style obstacles to test your strength, stamina, and mental grit.
The obstacles can’t be conquered solo — competitors must rely on their fellow warriors to give them a boost. And with their promising tagline of “Bigger, Better, Wetter" you can bet there will also be a few water-based obstacles thrown in too.
Visit www.desertwarriorchallenge.com for more information.
Wadi Adventure Race 9
Saturday, April 25 – Al Ain
Time and time again, WAR delivers. Held at Wadi Adventure in Al Ain, at the foot of Jebel Hafeet mountain, the event is recognized as, not only the oldest, but one of the most enjoyable obstacle races around.
You’ll be crawling through tunnels, leaping between inflatable rafts and swimming against the rapids, dragging heavy-duty sandbags across the desert. The event is filled with a lot of camaraderie and, after the race, a buffet lunch awaits.
Entry is Dhs225. Visit www.wadiadventure.ae.
Talise Sand Storm
Friday, May 1 – Dubai
A shorter obstacle race distance to test yourself as you are faced with a series of fun and challenging obstacles designed to test your resolve and determination across a 4km sprint course.
Climb, crawl, run or jump through a series of unique challenges devised using the elements of sand and sea, all against a stunning backdrop of the Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
Although climbing, crawling, paddling, jumping, flipping, dragging, carrying, running, wading and maneuvering will all be required, swimming won’t be.
Plus with competitive, intermediate and casual categories, you can be both challenged if you want to or just opt in for a bit of fitness fun. Light bites, tea and coffee will be served after the race.
Registration is 450Dhs. Register online here by April 30th.
The benefits of running are many:
• Improved health for the heart and lungs as well as all major organs
• Improved bodily functions and overall health
• Weight control
Despite all of these benefits, so many people say they simply can’t run. Anything from getting out of breath to injuries are all barriers to what is one of the most effective forms of exercise. The problem is that people just don’t prepare and build up to jogging and can be put off within the first couple of weeks. Follow these rules and nothing will stop you!
1. Trainers: You must have the appropriate footwear suitable for your gait if you can find a shop with someone to watch you walk. If not, try on lots of pairs and see which are the most comfortable and supportive. The wrong footwear will lead to injuries and yes, the best trainers are expensive but they will last at least a year.
2. Walk: If you are overweight, unfit, new to running or have joint problems, you must start off by walking, gradually picking up the pace as your body becomes stronger. Running is a high-impact sport which will put pressure on your joints – knees and hips in particular – unless your muscles are strong enough to take the impact. As with all exercise, when you start to struggle for breath, slow it down then pick up the pace again.
3. Count the breath: Don’t just leave breathing to chance. Count for four or five steps as you inhale, then four or five steps as you exhale. As you pick up the pace, you will get fewer steps for your breath. By counting, you will ensure that you will have enough breath rather than collapsing in a heap gasping for air. It will ensure that your muscles are getting enough oxygen to prevent those heavy, painful legs half way through your run.
4. Warm up: Walk for about 500m, swinging your arms, breathing deeply, perhaps bringing the knees up high from time to time. There has been an anti-stretch campaign prior to exercise for some time now, but if you warm up as suggested above, the muscles will be warm enough to gently stretch them which will definitely help avoid injury.
5. Find a friend: If you find that you are at different levels of ability, the better runner can always sprint for a 100 or 200m and then jog back to their companion. The point of a friend is that it will be more fun and you will both be able to motivate each other to turn up.
Working out in cooler weather is easy, but when summer sets in, the heat, at times, can discourage even the most motivated fitness buff.
Luckily, you can always head indoors to your favourite gym to stick to your exercise routine in order to keep yourself in trim.
But fitness isn’t necessarily just about visiting the gym or being active; diet and what goes into the body you are trying to look after is just as important.
Right Bite are based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and pride themselves on being a “specialised centre for expert nutritional consultation”, offering gourmet healthy meals and promoting sensible eating in the UAE.
Nathalie Haddad, the founder and managing director of Right Bite, is a dietician who has been working in the UAE for 12 years. She speaks to Sport360° about the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle.
Tell us about Right Bite…
Right Bite is a healthy nutrition and catering company that was established in Dubai in 2004. We focus on personalised nutrition programmes for individuals based on their requirements.
We prepare the food fresh in our kitchen daily and deliver it fresh to individuals based on their requirements and lifestyles, so at their home, office, wherever they want. We design programmes to suit people’s needs. FuelUp is one of the many programmes that we have under our umbrella.
It is designed specifically for those people that excercise and are athletes. It has a higher market protein with moderate carbohydrates to give them the requirements they need while exercising. We personalise the programmes for whether they want to lose weight or maintain or increase muscle mass.
What foods do you think people need to eat in order to train?
Depending on how much you train, whether it’s three times a week or six times a week, then your req-uirements will change in terms of the amount of protein and calories you need. Obviously, a well balanced diet and not deferring from a healthy diet. In terms of the variety of food it’s just being in line with a healthy, well balanced diet with lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fibre.
Where do you think people exercising go wrong with their choice of food?
People overestimate how much food they need for the amount of training they’re doing. So people go for an hour and think that allows them to overeat because they train so much. Yet that one hour of activity is not actually that much. Especially in an environment like Dubai where, other than that one activity, they’re not really that active. It’s not really a walking city. People especially overestimate how much protein they need. They eat far too much meat.
What are the ideal foods to eat in the hot weather?
The main thing, obviously, is to keep hydrated. Eating a lot more fresh vegetables, fruit, salads is good but the main thing is to keep well hydrated. Drink fresh water. The main thing to watch out for in the summer is the high sugar drinks. Many people try to cool off with juice or energy drinks and all these high caloric beverages. Try to avoid those.
Whether you’re eating a big meal a few hours before or a small snack right before your training session, what would you recommend?
It has to be a well balanced meal, so if you’re having a meal, it should be a source of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and vegetables. Grilled fish with steamed brown or mixed rice with vegetables or grilled salmon with vegetables and rice. If it’s a snack it has to have protein and carbohydrates. It could be a yoghurt or a piece of fruit, or raw almonds and fruit.
You design customised meal packages. What are some of the most popular options?
Honestly, we have so many different choices. On our menus you have a choice of four items for breakfast, five items for a morning snack, five items for lunch, five items for dinner and they change every single day.
Our menus only repeat for a month and cater to people’s taste buds. You’ll find all types of cuisine on our menus. European, Italian, Emirati, Arabic, Asian etc. There’s an endless selection.
Right Bite’s existed for 10 years. What prompted you to start?
There was a lot of demand in the people I used to see as clients. They would say to us ‘OK, you tell us what to eat and eat healthy but I don’t have time to prepare it, I don’t know what to eat’. Hence there was a demand for us and we were the first such company to start in the region.
The Middle East has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world, accounting for four of the worst 10 countries. The country also reportedly spends Dh25 billion a year on fighting diabetes… how big a problem is this?
Yes, it’s a big problem. We’re a team of five dieticians that counsel people and we deal a lot with diabetes. We encounter a lot of Type 2 diabetes in children due to lifestyle factors relating to diet and exercise. We see a lot more diabetes in children and of course prevention is key. You have to make sure you’re eating properly and exercising.
You’ve just broken new ground in opening a Right Bite restaurant in Dubai….
We’ve just launched the restaurant a month ago, based in JLT Cluster J. We deliver on demand which is a selection of our favourite dishes.
We have a specific menu where you can call and order a meal but you don’t have to go on the programme. You can just get the meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack in the afternoon.
It’s a delivery service and you have all the nutrition information on the menu, which shows you how much calories, protein and carbohydrates each meal contains.
The feedback’s been very good. It gives individuals an option to trial our meals and then they can either continue ordering from the menu or if they want the wider variety, the pre-planned options and the customisation, they can go on to the programmes. Or vice versa. If you get bored of the programme but want to keep eating healthily, you have the option of ordering in a healthy meal any time of day.
Will you open more restaurants in the future?
Yes, that’s our plan. The one right now caters to the area around JLT but we deliver all the way to Mall of the Emirates or Ibn Battuta Mall. Now we’re looking to open up other hubs later down the line elsewhere.
Right Bite is offering a sizzling-hot deal this summer with its FuelUp programme.