Wonders of the wadis

Posted on July 25, 2012


Back in May when running Action Asia China in Lijiang, my fab friend and roomie, Rachel Jacqueline (a.k.a HK Adventure Baby) mentioned that she planned to write a HK trail running profile for www.irunfar.com … Bryon Powell, the king of the hills on the site has a great section of trail running destination guides. I immediately thought that the UAE must have one too so promptly got in touch with him.

I needed to seek an expert though … what with my incessant travelling these days, even my occasional wadi runs of old have been increasingly replaced with urban plods and sand runs closer to home. Besides, training in the glittering concrete jungle means I can combine trips to the mall … a spot of mid-run retail therapy makes for the perfect pack training after all …

Thankfully, I found just the expertise I needed in Lee Harris!  Lee has been instrumental in bringing together an active trail running community in the UAE with his Facebook group and website www.dubaitrailrunners.com … his idea is fab – create a community, organise runs, discover great routes and share them with us all. Perfect!

So Lee and I (well, in all honesty Lee did all the hard work but as we all know, behind every great man, there lies a great woman!) have now created a profile. It will soon feature on www.irunfar.com but in the meantime, I have copied and pasted a little teaser …

‘A mere 45-minute car ride from the hustle and bustle of downtown Dubai will bring you to the Showka, Manama and Fili regions of the Hajar Mountains. From there, lies a maze of single track trails, forged over the years by local goat herders, wild donkeys and camels.

The terrain is arid and challenging, with the trails mostly being made up of loose rock and gravel. The paths lead you through the gulley’s and gorges of the mountains, following wild wadis (dried river beds formed by the run offs from the mountains) that run down to one of the regions multiple dams. Although for most of the year the wadis remain dry, there are a few that hold water throughout the year, giving you the chance to cool off in one of the fresh water pools after a long run up through the mountains.

Wadi Wurayah, one of the UAE’s famous and the first officially protected wadis, holds water all year round, with cool pools and picturesque waterfalls.’

So many in Dubai rarely leave the confines of the concrete city but a run or a hike out in the wadis and mountains can’t fail to invigorate the senses, revitalise your energy and imprint an irreversible smile so when the profile is up and running (sorry!) read, review and get planning for a day away …

These wondrous wadis are literally on our doorstep and when the day comes to pack up and ‘go home’, we might regret not having taken advantage.

Happy running!


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