In the early 1990’s, a small band of enthusiastic runners used to meet, on an informal basis, every Friday morning in the original car park that was in front of the Dubai World Trade Centre for a run around the Dubai Creek. This small group, under the guidance of Malcolm ‘Murph’ Murphy, established the eponymous Dubai Creek Striders running club in 1995 and we have now grown to be one of the largest running clubs in the region, with well over 500 current members.
With the ever-increasing numbers of runners in Dubai, the first Johnson Arabia Dubai Creek Striders Half Marathon was held in 2002 and attracted a field of 150 runners. Over the last 18 years, the race has evolved into a firm fixture in the Middle East running calendar, growing year on year, thanks to the continued and generous support of leading sponsors including the Title Sponsor, Johnson Arabia and Partner Sponsors: CML International, Hertz, and many other supportive Event Sponsors. and the support of the government entities including Community development authority, RTA, Dubai Police, UAE Athletic federation, Dubai sports council and Dubai Municipality, The event now attracts over 2,000 participants every year.
Since its inception, the race has followed the same scenic figure-of-eight route over, under and around the iconic Dubai Creek (notwithstanding the occasional diversion caused by Dubai’s incredible growth!). From the start at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, you will head towards the Garhoud Bridge and, having crested the top, will have an easy run down into Creek Park. The next ‘hill’ is tackled as you pass under, and then up and over, Maktoum Bridge heading towards the Dhow Wharfages along the Deira side of the Creek. Another Creek crossing is made via the Shindagha pedestrian tunnel and from there it’s a pleasant run past the Heritage Village, Ruler’s Court and British Embassy. Another pass ‘under and over’ Maktoum Bridge then leads you to the final stretch back to the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club to complete 21.1 ks of ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Half Marathon’.
And the newly added 10K also follows the same route from the start at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club with a small loop to the Golf club and you will head towards the Garhoud Bridge and, having crested the top where you have the 5K mark, from there will have an easy run down into Creek Park. The next ‘hill’ is tackled as you pass under, and then up and over, Maktoum Bridge Bridge then leads you to the final stretch back to the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club to complete the 10K of ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Half Marathon’.
In keeping with the Club’s philosophy of being a social running club, focusing on long-distance running and open to people of all ages and abilities, the race was created by the organisers to provide a truly unique and inspiring half marathon experience for everyone, as well as acting as a stepping stone to the full marathon and helping to promote a healthier lifestyle. The race has gained an unrivalled reputation throughout the region.
“Any runner who has the opportunity to take part in this year’s Johnson Arabia Dubai Creek Striders Half Marathon – to be held on Friday 4th December 2020 – should grasp it as there is simply nothing like it in the region. Dubai is a spectacular place to run, particularly in the cool December temperatures. So whether you want to take in the stunning surroundings and the cooler climes with friends, or prefer the heat of the local competition and battle against the clock, everyone can enjoy a memorable experience.”
For those just starting out it’s the perfect opportunity to challenge oneself and set a new goal, especially if it is just wanting to get fit. The half marathon can be that kick-start as the distance can be managed with a good training regime and it isn’t too late for anyone starting now.”
Having sampled the delights of the breathtaking route, a well-earned hearty breakfast is available at ‘QDs’ at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, as an optional extra for runners and their guests.
Final words are provided by just a few of the satisfied runner who has experienced, and enjoyed, ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Half Marathon’:
“Thank you all sincerely for arranging what is consistently the best road race in the UAE!!! Your hard work and hours of organising, culminated in yet another fine day on Friday. From us all at the U.H.M.R.C. (Unlikely Half Marathon Runner’s Club) thanks very much – keep up the good work, it is much appreciated”.
“Thank you for such a well organised and enjoyable race. I have already recommended to others that they enter next year’s Dubai Creek Striders Half Marathon. All the hard work of the organising volunteers was very much appreciated”.