Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

Dalbeattie 10K Half Marathon 2016

Frank's Valentine Run 2017

Frank's Valentine Run 2017

Dentdale 2017

Dentdale 2017

Criffel Hill Race 2017

Criffel Hill Race 2017

Devil Takes the Hindmost 2017

Devil Takes the Hindmost 2017

Club Kit Available

A range of Club Kit is available. Click here for details...

News items and Articles

To submit news items and articles for inclusion on the website, please email the News Team at news@dumfriesrunningclub.org.uk

DRC Grand Prix Competition

The latest standings in the Club Grand Prix competition can be found here:

  Grand Prix Tables
London Marathon 2016

London Marathon 2016

Highland Fling Relay 2016

Highland Fling Relay 2016

Carlisle Urban Trail 2016

Carlisle Urban Trail 2016

Moffat 15k 2016

Moffat 15k 2016

Screel Hill Race 2017

Screel Hill Race 2017



Oman Desert Marathon

06/12/2017

When Joasia Zakrzewski was invited to travel out to Oman to take part in a 6-day multistage race across the desert she jumped at the opportunity to escape the Scottish weather and enjoy some sunshine.

The Oman desert marathon is in its 5th year and is increasing in size, strength and popularity year on year. It is viewed by many as a “training ground” for the well-known Marathon Des Sables, as although the distance (and hence time taken) is less, the sandy terrain is harder to run on as it is much softer, but in both events the runners must be self-sufficient and carry everything they require for the week except for water and the large tent structures provided by the race organisation. The challenge is therefore not only running the 168km, but also balancing the weight of the food each runner carries vs the possible lack of energy if they skimp on this, and comfort at night (desert nights can be rather cold) vs weight of sleeping gear.

Jo went with no expectations and so wore no watch for the week, as she was just hoping to enjoy a stress-free week away from the trappings of modern life, running in a new place, in the company of life-minded people.

The first stage was relatively short as the competitors had just arrived and so many hadn’t yet acclimatised to the heat or recovered from the travel. There was also a slightly political angle to it as the route was actually a circular one starting and finishing at the future Sultan’s camel racing track.

Jo surprised herself by finishing the stage as second female and held on to this position for the rest of the event. The Russian winner of this year’s MdS was the stand out lady in the field and established an unassailable lead in the first couple of days, but Jo increased her lead over the third placed Moroccan lady (2nd in the MdS) to about 50minutes by the finish.

The distance and terrain varied day by day, though all involved a lot of sun and soft sand, though a varying amount of dunes. Most days started with the sound of the “call to prayer” at about 4:45 am when it was still rather cold, and then the runners struggle to get up, feed and organise themselves in the dark as the runs tended to start soon after dawn. Day 5 was a variation on this as it is known as the “night marathon stage”.....so they didn’t start the 42+k run until a couple of hours before the sun set, so most of the run was done by the light of a headtorch (which didn’t exactly help the runners to find the hardest-packed sand to try to run on).

Jo found the final stage the hardest, as the sun felt relentless and the size of the dunes meant that there was no breeze at all. The steepness of the dunes meant she had to crawl up using her hands as well rather than run....and there was a lot of sliding backwards down them occurring at the same time! Although very tempted to sit down and quit at the final checkpoint, she poured a couple of bottles of water over her head and staggered onto finish on the beach (which meant the runners could jump into the sea to wash off a week’s worth of grime) happy to have finally made it.

Looking back, it was an amazing experience and she would heartily recommend it to anyone of any running ability. Friendships are forged in the Bedouin tents as runners of every speed and every nationality bond over tales of dunes, waterpoints, toenails, sand and food (or the lack of)!!!

Back

News Archive