Saturday, October 18, 2008

Riyadh Road Runners

I recently went on a run with the Riyadh Road Runners in a compound near the King Khaled Internation airport. The run was a simple 10k fare and marked my first race in Saudi Arabia. It also marked a low point in my pride as a runner. I found out, through first hand experiences, at the race that I don't know the first thing about running with others. I tried to run too fast and then got dehydrated and decided to drink way too much water which made me slower and slower till I had to walk the last kilometer or so. Still, everybody cheered so much and so enthusiasticaly when I crossed the finish line that I thought I might as well have come in 1st, and not 2nd last of the whole group. I finished the 10k in about an hour and a few minutes which was not a personal best, though I have no doubt I could have done alot worse. I have compiled a list of things I'm going to try for my next run with the group so that I don't embarass myself, and these are things I know but have to learn to practice.
  • Start at the back of the group.
  • Don't try to keep up with the group, go by your own pace.
  • Drink at ever station, stay well hydrated the day before the race.
  • Stay upright.
  • Get a new list of songs for my Ipod.

I should also mention that despite my horrid performance I was very happy to have found a group of genuinely good people to run with. Everyone I met was very laid back and easy to get along with. I definitely think Riyadh has more to offer than meets the eye, but you have to look hard to find it. This group of runners was well motivated and organized, the run was a blast and they even have a marathon planned for early next year. I'm definitely going to try to run that marathon! I have volunteered to help them maintain and upgrade their website, the organizer was happy to have my help so hopefully I can do something good for 'em.

In other news, My brother in law has gone to Oman on a business trip so my sister will be staying with me for a couple of days. She is expecting soon and we will inshallah, translates to "god willing", have a new baby to welcome to my extended family.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Max said...

You said it. It is good fun, people are very nice and everybody is there to have a good time, running or helping out.

This is truely one of the better things to do in Riyadh.

Damn I miss that T-shirt :)

1:07 PM  
Blogger C Yohman said...

Hey Syed, I think you did well. The best I have done in a 10K is 56:59. Of course, I like hiking more. I hiked 12 miles roundtrip on Mt. Garfield in New Hampshire today. Best of luck on future 10Ks.

7:29 PM  
Blogger syed said...

Max: Right you are! I didn't want to mention this earlier but I won a poster in that raffle :)
Chance: 12 miles? that's quite a lot. But I suspect it's a lot more fun to enjoy nature like that. Thanks, will need the luck!

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear:
I must to be in Riyadh next month and I must to train. Do you know whereI can go to run in Riyadh.
Thanks, Vicent

1:54 AM  
Blogger syed said...

Vicent,
you're in luck! the weather has started to turn and you will probably be able to run outside. Depending on where you stay, you can run outside or join a gym. What distance are your long runs?

4:28 AM  
Blogger syed said...

Vicent,
you're in luck! the weather has started to turn and you will probably be able to run outside. Depending on where you stay, you can run outside or join a gym. What distance are your long runs?

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Syed:
Nice to read you. I would like run outside. Abour 10-12 Km. each training is enought. I have a marathon in December. So I would like where can I go to run to take a hotel near.
Vicent

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Vicent said...

Hi Syed:
I'll be in AL SETEEN HOTEL, do you know where I could go torun near the hotel?
I've read you had fascitiis in your foot. I recommend a study of your trear so you can choose the best shoe for your feet. For running I prefer SAUCONY TRIUMPH.

8:40 AM  
Blogger syed said...

Hi Vicent
Sorry about not responding time your earlier post. Your hotel is actually quite close to two of my regular running spots. The king Fahad medical city and Nahda park. Let me know when you are here and maybe we can go on a couple of runs together.
I picked the vibram five fingers, it really helped my feet.
syed

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Vicent said...

Hi Syed:
It'll fantastic to run with you.
I'll be next month from 10 to 15.I must to be at SAUCI BUILD be casu my company have a stend there.

9:39 AM  

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