Take to the roads and run the Bahrain International Marathon 2012
Time Out Bahrain staff
It began with the British Queen’s visit to the island back in 1979 and there’s been a Bahrain Marathon every year since making it one of the oldest, if not the longest-running, in the Gulf.
From that first event, where just 15 people took part and there was only one sub-three-hour finish, the race has grown every year and now, as well as the 42.2-km full marathon race, the day will see two alternatives.
For those who want to take part but aren’t up for going the full distance, they can run in teams completing either two half marathons or four 10.5km legs – always adding up to the full 42.2 km stretch.
Going on last year’s figures, organisers Bahrain Road Runners (BRR) are expecting up to 150 runners to take part with participants coming from Saudi Arabia and even as far afield as Germany – for two of the runners it will be their 43rd marathon, each in a different country!
Also look out for 76-year-old cancer survivor Eilleen Morris, a BRR regular who organisers hope to be welcoming back, perhaps in the team category.
The route’s downhill and there’s likely to be a following wind so there should be some really good times on the day, certainly more than a match for those first 15.
And the organisers hope to introduce various music and art performances along the way – the racers might not be too interested but it could be a great showcase for some of Bahrain’s budding talents so why not go along and support the runners and take in a bit of culture at the same time.
The race starts at Riffa Views and the best spots for spectators are the petrol station next to the BIC and the camel roundabout by Bahrain Sailing Club, Zallaq. Bahrain Marathon, Sat, Feb 10 www.bahrainroadrunners.com
Bahrain Road Runners’ Hisham Shahabi won’t be there on the day, he’s off to Panama to take part in his first Half Iron Man challenge! But we figured with that sort of pedigree, he’d be the ideal person to ask for some training tips if you fancy having a go at a future event.
• You need to be putting in 8 to 10 hours a week of solid running 3 or 4 months in advance with the distance increasing each week • Your goal is to be on your feet for as long as possible • By three months out you should be able to stay on your feet for 3 hours, no matter what distance you cover, it’s then about building up to the longer distances • You also need to be doing weight training 3 or 4 days a week including strength training for your abs, lower back and gluts – the muscles which help you maintain form throughout the race, core strength training is crucial for long-distance events • Nutrition is also very important to help the body recover quickly when training. Protein is essential but also carbs for energy such as wholewheats and grains • Make sure you both warm up and cool down properly during every training session to avoid injury • And most of all enjoy!
Missed out on the marathon but still fancy proving your fitness chops? There’s still time before the weather gets really hot. The Al Areen 10km run takes place towards the end of the month on February 24. The Bahrain Road Runners Duathlon is a run-bike-run combination, for either individuals or teams, on March 16. The club’s Olympic triathlon is on March 30 and the winter season finishes with the spring triathlon on April 20 – what a great way to start the Grand Prix weekend, we’re even going to join in.