RUNNERS ON THEIR MARKS FOR NEW START AT STANDARD CHARTERED DUBAI MARATHON
Dubai (UAE): Runners competing in the 2011 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will once again rub shoulders with the running elite on a new starting line for the biggest running event in the region.
Certified AIMS course measurer Paul Hodgson, who has meticulously measured every route since the event was first staged in Dubai, has spent the last few days going over every inch of the route to ensure that it meets the highest international standards.
And with Dubai’s ongoing landmark changes once again affecting the course, the thousands expected to start the marathon will face yet another new start line, this time outside the old Hard Rock Café opposite the Emirates Golf Club.
“It is impossible for us to have the same start as we did in 2010 due to the ongoing developments in the city,” said Hodgson who was assisted in his measuring of the route by Abdullah M. Alyazeedi from Dubai RTA.
“But the new start is in an excellent location with plenty of space for runners to gather before the start gun is fired. In addition, by creating a new start we have been able to remove the turning point near the Madinat junction. This means we now have only one major turning point on the entire marathon route – down at Union House – which should help those runners looking to set a personal best.”
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will be staged on January 21, 2011 with world record marathon prize-money of $1 million on offer to the multi-national field.
While a new race start means runners will face a fresh opening to the 42.2km route, the course is largely as it was in 2010 with less than 5% of the route changed.
“By having a new start on the road outside the old Hard Rock Café and the American University, runners will be required to make their way to the start using Exit 32 from Dubai to Dubai Internet City/Media City on Sheikh Zayed Road,” said event director Peter Connerton. “We would advise using public transport although there will be parking options within Dubai Internet and Media City.”
The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is supported by The Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Holding, “Official Outfitter” adidas, The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai Eye 103.8 FM, Khaleej Times, TNT, Gatorade, Aquafina, Fitness First, Men’s Fitness, Plan B and by government departments Dubai Police, RTA, Dubai Municipality DHA and the Dubai Ambulance Services.
Athletes looking to run in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, the 10km and the 3km Fun Run can register at any branch of Fitness First in Dubai or online at the official website www.dubaimarathon.org by December 31.
Caption: Course Measurer Paul Hodgson makes his notes at the new start line for the 2011 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon
For further information: Alan Ewens, Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon Media Manager. Tel: +97150 4514188. Alan2804@emirates.net.ae