Briefing time. I am a little concerned that numbers may be short as the rally point is a little hard to find. But there are a few cars there when we eventually rock up at about 22:10 and half of them are Support Crews, so at least I can relax knowing we will be well supported.
We were a little delayed finally getting underway, partly waiting for a few people to arrive at the rally point and partly due to inefficiencies, due to my lack of experience as a run director, but people were happy and enthusiastic so it didn’t matter too much. In a way, one could say that this feeling sort of summerised the whole night really, a few tweaks needed but overall people were having fun.
We decide to actually park at the WOQOD (where we are going to finish) and discover that there is actually a tonne of parking over there, next night race along that stretch will probably use the WOQOD as the rally point as that is an easier landmark to find too.
Our (presently) lone short runner starts. But Zi, our 10K runner/volunteer is keen to run a 15K point-to-point instead so Phil at least has company for some of the way.
Later, Aidel – from South Africa – joins our run with his training partners and his own support car,
The Long Course runners start. Numbers for the long course are surprisingly high and there are some really good long course runners out tonight. even thought we are almost an hour behind schedule, everybody’s spirits are really high. It is going to be a good run.
The course is long, the road is quite straight and has a slight gradient (something I did not know until we were running on it) but people are generally sticking to together. The pace is good, the conversation is plentiful and spirits, like the heat, are still high.
These photos were taken by the runners and volunteers on the run!
The night was about being out in the desert, running. About campsite checkpoints in the middle of nowhere and in the corners of car parks attached to dodgy looking supermarkets. As swan song runs go, I feel I got to say goodbye to the Qatar desert. I hope some of these people run this course again though. We had fun!