Sunday, February 8, 2015

Al Barsha Park...Dubai!

Well, it's already Sunday afternoon here in Dubai, the whole time difference is still kind of weird, thinking that it is the middle of the night back home. Another thing that is different is that here the week begins on Sunday, so it is crazy busy around here as everyone gets started with their week.

So let me get this straight...in Dubai it's possible to have a case of the Sundays?

Darcy headed off to the Gulfood trade show this morning, and I went off to get in a long run. Well, sort of. Since I'm meeting up with the Dubai Creek Striders club for a run later, I kept this one short. Then again, with all of the walking I did to and from the park it probably adds up to a long run already!

I must say, the part of Dubai that I am in isn't the most runner-friendly in terms of having paths and places to run. Maybe in another part of town that might be the case, but in some places here there aren't even sidewalks! So if I want to run I need to make the trek to Al Barsha Park, which is a couple of miles from our hotel.

We took a cab down there last night just to see where it was, and I decided to get in some more steps and walk over there this morning. It wasn't too bad of a walk, about 30 minutes each way, and since it is sunny and in the low 70s I didn't mind.

Plus, it's a chance to see more of Dubai. Here is my initial impression...you know how you say to yourself "if I had the money, I'd do this or that"? That is Dubai, it's a collection of people who have the money so they do it. There isn't anything wrong with that because this is an insanely beautiful city, but it leads to things like indoor ski hills (like the one in this picture), buildings made to look like boat sails, and buildings that stretch almost a half-mile into the sky!

It is pretty amazing, I must say. This afternoon I'm just going to jump on the metro and hop off whenever I see something interesting.

Back to my run. Al Barsha Park is a pretty neat place, there is a big pond in the middle, lots of places for kids to play (in fact there were schools there on field trips today), not to mention tennis courts, basketball courts and a small turf soccer field.

But to me, the centerpiece of the whole park is the running path that goes around it. The path is pretty close to perfect, it's 1500 meters around with markings every 100 meters (which will be great for intervals on Tuesday), and the path itself has a rubberized layer on top of the asphalt to make it a softer run.

With everybody back to work, the park wasn't all that busy, there were only a couple of other runners and a few walkers on the path with me. I started slowly, just because my legs are still a bit tight from the trip, and we did a lot of walking yesterday, and finished my first mile in about 11:30. With each lap I went a little faster and by the end of the run I ran the last mile in 8:38 to finish the 5.2 miles in 54:08.

I felt pretty good overall, and got my first taste of the concept of a "dry heat". With the humidity pretty low here, of course, I was warm -- and sweaty -- but still comfortable. A little bit of a breeze helped too. By comparison, Puerto Vallarta, where I visited six weeks ago, was oppressive, even at the same temperature. Kind of crazy.

Because I had to add 100 meters to each lap to measure out a mile, I finished my run at the 500-meter mark on the back side of the park. So I walked the rest of the way around and took a lot of pictures, including my official runfie! 

You'll find a few more pictures of the park at the bottom of this post. There are a couple I had in mind but forgot to take, but I guess those can be in a post for later this week.

I'll probably go to the park at least two more times, for my speedwork on Tuesday night and a club run on Wednesday, and I'm looking forward to going back and enjoying the park.

Later on today the club group run will be near the Jumeirah hotel complex near the Persian Gulf. I'm looking forward to running there as I've seen photos and it looks pretty amazing. But for now it's time to do some more exploring.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!










18 comments:

  1. Wow, it is beautiful and you pictures are great! How long will you be there for? Also, I am totally going to steal runfie. I love that!

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    1. Thank you! This is such an unbelievable city. We will be here until Friday morning. I'm actually about to head over to the park for another run here in a little bit!

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  2. Wow, your pics are beautiful and that is great that the park has such clearly marked meters for you. You had a great run! Enjoy the rest of your time there and the run with the running club!!

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  3. The architecture there looks stunning! What a great way to enjoy your run!

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  4. Those are such beautiful photos! Thank you for posting them! It sounds like you've been having quite the adventure lately! Glad you're able to log some miles in a new location!

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  5. It is quite the place, that's for sure. We went up in the Burj Khalifa building today and the views were incredible. There are so many beautiful buildings, and dozens more on the way!

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  6. Wow Dubai always looks like one of those magical, interesting places in photos. Have a wonderful time expoloring and running there.

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    1. It is, it's one of those places you have to truly see to believe. It was a memorable week for sure!

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  7. Very cool TravelRun story! I was looking forward to hearing about Dubai, and can't wait to hear additional updates. Thanks for sharing - I am going to try pinning this story (still getting the hang of Pinterest...)

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    1. I'm just trying to figure out the Pinterest thing too, so thanks for trying! :--) I have a couple more posts at the ready...I could write a post a day for a week!

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  8. This looks so cool! And I think it's pretty awesome that there's a Striders Club there. I don't know that I'll ever make it to Dubai in my lifetime, but seeing your photos kind of makes me want to go! Enjoy your trip!

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    1. I never thought I would go someplace like that either, it's just such a blessing to have the opportunity. It was really amazing to go someplace that is so different than anyplace I had ever been before.

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  9. That looks gorgeous. I wouldn't even know some of those pictures are Dubai.

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    1. There is still lots of desert here! :--) But that park was a true oasis.

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  10. Dubai looks lovely! I hope you made it home safely.

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    1. We are halfway there and so far so good! Have a 2 1/2 hr layover in London before our flight home to Chicago.

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  11. Wow, what a cool trip! I would love to go to Dubai someday! My husband has been there many times as a pilot in the military, but not me! Enjoy!

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    1. I hope you make it someday! I'm fortunate that my wife travels for her work and I have TONS of vacation time at mine. That and cashing in frequent flyer miles! :--)

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