Friday, March 9, 2012

Stretched Dubai: more cars than runners...

This is my second business trip in Dubai in 5 months and there should be quite a few upcoming ones over the next few months. I arrived there on Saturday night and left on Thursday night for a full working week (the weekend is Friday-Saturday in the Emirates). With 12-hour working days on the client project plus a few hours to catch-up with emails, not much time to run except at night. Upon getting to the hotel on Saturday after a 21-hour trip, I left the hotel at 11 pm and ran toward downtown (North). There was a good breeze from the sea and the temperature was very nice, in the 70s, which is cool for the area so, despite the fatigue of the flight, I managed to maintain a 7:10 min/mile pace for 24 miles, running to the harbor and back to the Mall of the Emirates.
On Monday night, I ran in the opposite direction, toward the Marina, for 12 miles out and back, at a slightly slower pace as this was a tapering week before Way Too Cool 50K this Saturday.
To give a sense of scale, the red segment in the above "flower" (the Palm Jumeira, an artificial/reclaimed island covered with luxurious buildings) is 1.2-mile long (the island is about 3x3 miles or 5x5 kilometers).

Sorry for the ones expecting pictures, I didn't run with my camera this time and, again, it was quite dark except for the glow of the cars (you can still look at the pictures I posted last October). You cannot run on the seashore because of the private hotel and palace beaches. But, a block from the sea, you can run along Jumeirah Road which goes on for many miles, at least 20! As you can see on this map, Dubai stretches for almost 40 miles between the sea and the desert, not to mention the vertical stretch of the many skyscrapers including the highest in the world. Needless to say, in such an affluent countries, people don't cover these miles by foot but in luxurious cars for the wealthy, or buses, cabs and metro for the others. I haven't see any other runner this week, although the temperature was perfect, but many Porshes, BMWs, Maserattis, Ferraris, Mercedeses, Bentleys, ... among an ocean of Japanese cars.
I barely made the connection in DC this morning. We had to take a lower route between Dubai and Washington because of major solar flares/storm. Our flight ended up being one hour longer (more than 15 hours!) and we got at the gate at the time my next flight was boarding, not good... Fortunately, I traveled with a carry-on and managed to go through immigration, custom and another security check in less than 20 minutes, good enough for a sprint to the next gate and boarding among the last passengers, phew! Agnes picked me at SFO and here we are in Sacramento this Friday evening, 50 hours have passed since I last woke up in Dubai, I was fortunate to sleep for about 10 hours on the plane to catch-up with some sleep deficit.

For those not running Way Too Cool tomorrow (or another race this afternoon), you can follow some of the action, live, on the ultralivevideo channel (start: 7:30-8am, 8-mile: 8:30a, finish: 11:30a-1:30p, all Pacific times). Speaking of time, we are changing time on Sunday morning, the Spring Forward. See many of you at Cool, sweet dreams in the meantime!


Toshi Moshi said...

Welcome back! That is some sprint to make the immigration, customs and security check in 20 minutes. Have a good run tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

...toujours un emploi du temps bien chargé!
C'est bien que tu aies pu dormir dans l'avion.
Tous nos voeux pour Way too cool.

runstephane said...

Good job Jean!
C'était chouette sympa de regarder l'arrivée en direct.!/runstephane/status/178585792166367232/photo/1

Keep going,

Jean Pommier said...

Trop cool la photo, Stephane, merci de nous avoir suivi et pour laisser un commentaire. Bonne semaine!

PS: tu fais l'Eco Trail?

runstephane said...

Oui, version 50 cette année. Et à la cool (pour de vrai).
Vivement ton prochain CR, j'adore avoir l'impression d'aller vite ! :o)