As my social media provoked 20 mile run a couple of weeks ago suggests, staring at social media and maps of Qatar, while working night shifts, is probably something I should try to avoid as it usually leads to something spontaneous and a little bit crazy.
So people who know me well, know that given half a chance and enough exposed skin to deposit on the side of a trail I have a penchant for going full masochist. So my latest “project” may not come as a surprise to you few who know me well. What is a surprise is how long it took my brain, addled by a lack of sleep, a good 2 hours to realise what it had just witnessed and therefore been a party to.
Well, Go On
Alright alright. So. This is the story. I am staring at a map of Qatar and watching Tweetdeck spin through all the posts from happy people completing a variety of marathons. I begin to wonder, how far is it between Dukhan and Doha. I mean, it is pretty much a straight line through the desert and there is a nice fat road to follow. And Qatar is smaller than Yorkshire… So how far can it be?
84 kilometers, give or take.
Not that far on the grand scheme of possible Ultra running futures, but a long way. A little too far for me at the moment and a little dangerous at the Doha end without taking a ginormous diversion which is likely to add another 20Ks to an already long run (Maybe save that one for the end of June).
After some playing around, I come across a nice 50ish kilometer route running from the Cuban Hospital, near Zekreet, to Al Ryan Sports Stadium, on the outskirts of Doha. AND AND AND. I could potentially do the entire thing on my own. Get the bus to the hospital – the one that arrives at midnight, run for 5 or 6 hours to the Stadium, then get a cab back to the hotel. But do I really want to run across all that desert on my own. Not really.
So I pitched it to the Doha Bay Runners. They said yes! Awesome, I thought, I get some company. This will be fun.
2 hours later, just as I was finishing work it suddenly occurs to me. Not only am I now committed to running 50k’s in about 5 weeks, but I am going to be organising the run too.
And There It Is
So I have been busying myself making more detailed maps of the route, working out potential fuel dumps, compiling mandatory kit lists, and, more importantly, working out my new long run routine between now and then so that I can be ready for this run which will be the longest run I have ever done.
This is the current proposed route(s) – I have included a ‘short’ course too. And both courses will be run through the wee hours of the night. Which (fingers crossed) will make the temperatures pleasant, the views impressive, and the traffic lite.
I am also going to Social Media the pants off of this so will be asking my runners and rollers (my new pet name for the Support crews) to take pics.
This weekend :
Back to back long runs – 25K Friday & 20K Saturday
Back to back long runs – 30K & 25K
The BIG one!
So lesson to learn, autopilot = Ultra (apparently)