Congratulations to all the hardy souls that braved the extremely harsh elements of the weekend to complete the 25th edition of this unique sporting and social event. Special commendation to all of the solo runners in the 30km, 50km and 72km categories of the event on Friday who were faced with hurricane strength winds, extreme cold and rain / hail on the mountain with the imminent risk of flash floods.

As the organisers of the event we have been faced with difficult decisions due to the weather conditions and the condition of the track in the Wadi previously but last weekend was the most difficult choice we have to make in the 25 years that the event has taken place. There were a number of major sporting and social events at the weekend in the UAE that were either cancelled or postponed and in deciding to go ahead with the run we gave careful consideration to the risks and changing the planning and organisation. We had advised by email to all competitors of the need to bring appropriate warm wind and rain proof clothing and advised that the course is maybe altered and shortened. Our apologies to those that did not receive this communication.

The actual strength of the wind over the weekend was greater than forecast and caused havoc at the event site and on the route with damage to the event signage, starting / finishing arches, the registration area, outside buffet and the power supply in the garden at the hotel for the lighting, timekeepers and computers.

We were constantly monitoring the temperatures, wind and rainfall during the Friday and were watching out for possible hypothermia in the solo runners at high altitudes. During the day on Friday the rainfall increased and was a serious risk of a flash flooding in the narrow section of the route and after discussions with the police and the marshalls we took thee decision to remove some of the solo 50 and solo 72 runners from the course. Our apologies to these runners who had trained hard and were persevering in extreme conditions but safety is paramount and as the organisers of the event we are responsible for the safety of the marshals and all participants.

The weather conditions on the Saturday were far more clement and the wind had abated, with bright sunshine, although low temperatures. However the rain on Friday had washed out the wadi making the normal route impassable. We had a contingency route to run through the roads in Dibba but this is not very interesting and does not let participants see anything of the mountains or spectacular coastline. The closure of the wadi was only confirmed by our inspections at 7 pm on Friday and we then made enquiries about taking the team event to Zighi Bay. At this time night it was difficult to contact the responsible people and even on Saturday morning we were still not sure if we had access to Zighi Bay which caused a delay to the briefing on Saturday morning and the start of the race and we must apologise for this.

The route to Zighi Bay and back was shorter but by having 2 runners on each of the stages each individuals distance was maintained. The change to the route was only decided early on Saturday morning and was not communicated to all of the race organisation team and marshals so our apologies for any confusion out on the course.

We had prepared extensive informational, and direction signage for the venue and for the route but a lot of this was destroyed in the strong winds so our apologies for anyone who had difficulty with navigation.

As per previous years we have been working closely with the management’s at the Golden Tulip hotel in Dibba to liaise with the authorities to try to facilitate the smooth passage all participants in the event through the border post. This is not an official entry access points between the UAE and Oman and the actual procedures and documentation requirements can vary from day-to-day. The exit from the UAE to Oman requires a hard copy paper road pass application to be made for each individual to the UAE Ministry of immigration and the Sharjah police and this paper has to be presented at crossing and the counterfoil at exit. There were a number of queries on individuals submissions and we communicated these through the premier online email service to entrants requesting them to contact the Golden Tulip hotel directly to resolve the queries. Unfortunately there was in a few cases of breakdown in communications and some people had to wait while a new pass was prepared and issued so apologies again.

The exit from Oman to UAE is manned by the UAE army and the Sharjah police and there is no proper system or procedures in place to deal with a large number of people so our apologies to everyone that was stuck at the border for a long period of time, which included all of us, the organisers 🙂

We try to keep all of the participants to the event informed of the difficulties and the changes via our social media and our website but the internet connectivity and reliability in Dibba is not good and we apologise for the poor communications just prior to the event.

To improve the course and allow runners to experience the great environments in the Wadi we decided to change the start location for the solo 30 and solo 50 and this was communicated via our website but the signage for this was destroyed by the wind so our apologies for any confusion runners experienced in getting to the start line for the solo 30 and solo 50.

An event of this type requires a considerable amount of planning and preparation and we are indebted to Salomon and their representatives Kamyar and Glen for their hard work supporting the event and for providing the event t-shirts and prizes.

We would like to thank all our other sponsors for their support;

PARTNER SPONSORS
SUPPORT SPONSORS

We have maintained our good safety record, with only minor injuries and no accidents.

The Wadi Bih Run was first held in1993 from RAK to Dibba and organized by John Gregory from the very social RAK Hash House Harriers and it was great to see his sons, Ian & Chris taking part this year.

Again this year the support to solo runners out on the course at the manned checkpoints was very professionally organized and staffed by Absolute Adventure. A big thank you to Paul Oliver and his team; Phil, Dan, Chris, Stu, Alex and Miguel.

A very big thank you to Rabih, Selwyn, Mustafa, and all their team at the Golden Tulip Resort Dibba for getting us all across the border and hosting the post event buffet.

We want to make a special mention of the hard work put in by the Dubai physiotherapy therapy centre at the events who were offering massages to the runners. Thank you Bronwen Rachel and your team.

From Thursday evening through to the end of Saturday there was an awful lot of work to be done and we are extremely grateful to all of the volunteers for helping us with the registration, timekeeping and handing out the medals at the finish. So many thanks to ; Tasha, Saki, Dan, Prudy (our apologies if we have omitted to mention some. 🙂

At the event and prior to the event there is an awful lot of hard work on the preparation ,planning and organization by the Wadi Bih Run team ;

Neil Young
Christina Jackson
Graham Rafferty
Katrina Rafferty
Thilan
Barbara Young
Tasha Young
John Young
Gilbys Ubaldo
Anton Tolentino

We are always looking to make improvements for the event and welcome your comments on this year’s eventsand any suggestions for improvements in the future.

Wad Bih Run Team

Best regards,
John Young
Course Director