My Good Friday treat up Jebel Hafeet

Posted on April 22, 2011


This morning my dear friend Cath and I started Good Friday in style with an early morning run up Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain. For those not in the know, Jebel Hafeet is a mountain bordering the UAE and Oman, rising nearly 4,000 ft above sea level. A road winds up the mountain-side rock for 12km or so, which makes for an exhilarating ride on wheels but a pretty tough one on foot!

The first couple of kilometres are always tough.  I find it takes time to find my natural rhythm and warm up my legs. But from then on, I love every moment and this morning was no exception. Feeling the sun on my back, the wind in my air and the burn in my muscles can’t fail to ignite my love for running.

We rested a while at the top then started the descent, looking forward to a big breakfast and an afternoon pool-side.

Of the many things we talked about, one in particular was this …

I often hear runners talk, myself, at times, included, about the lack of motivation that sometimes hits you due to the lack of scenery here … the lack of street-life when city-bound and the absence of country-side when further afield.

Yet running on Jebel Hafeet, today and every time that has preceded, I have been in awe at the sheer beauty of the landscape.  So it’s not lush, overly green or colourful, but in its own way, it’s pretty magical thanks to the sheer vastness, the expanse of empty space as far as the eye can see.

It gives us a taste of freedom and an open invitation for adventure.

So next time I return from the rugged countryside in Scotland or elsewhere in fact and I have my oft-felt withdrawal symptoms whilst I settle back into desert life, I plan to remember the breathtaking views enjoyed today.  And the fact that there are thousands and thousands of runners from all corners of the globe who don’t have the freedom to run like we do … or who live in countries plagued with rain, cold or darkness …. or who are city-bound in built-up concrete jungles.

I have no doubt that they would all go to great lengths to be in our shoes … or should I say run in our shoes …

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