First edition of the Shawka Hump Race proves a thoroughly enjoyable and well-organized event

More than 200 runners lined up to take part in the first edition of the Shawka Hump Race in Wadi Shawka Ras Al Khaimah on March 27. It was a race put on and organized by Runners for Runners. The event covered two courses, one of 10kms and the other for a distance of 21kms.

The 10km course was designed for beginners to trail races and also for professionals to test their ability and timing over a short distance. The race started with almost 4kms of jeep trail to get to the first checkpoint, where runners were greeted and supported by Mohamed Mohsen and Mamerto Gamboa, who were also organizers of the race.

To get to the first checkpoint, the runners were guided by our amazing volunteers, and Moataz Bellah, who reported bib numbers passing by his station. The trail then turned off towards a short technical climb to get to a flat section where Haytham Hosny and Hasan Al Makhmari from Al Mulhimon tribe waited to capture everyone on camera before starting to climb again on a single trail to get to the road where Emna Boubaker encouraged and guided the runners towards the finish line.

The 21km-course runners took off at 5:30am. They started from the same point as the 10km-course runners but began an hour earlier. It took them on a longer jeep trail route of approximately 10kms until the checkpoint where Houda Bou Hayat, who also took part in the organizing, and Sebastien Vaillant cheered the runners and assisted them with hydration.

The route took them back on the same path until they turned off towards a single terrain up and down the valley. Amir Bou Reslan, who was also one of the organizers, guided the runners towards the right direction at the diversion where the trail split. The route continued on a narrow path until they reached the bottom of a gruelling uphill section called the ‘‘Mother Hump Climb’’ named after Coach Lee Harris.

Angela Bak was at the bottom of the climb waiting for the runners with cold water and encouraged them as they prepared to tackle the climb. The course then continued downhill past Haytham Hosni and Hassan Al Makhmari from Mulhimon Tribe, who took some spectacular shots, to the point where they met up with the 10km-course runners, and then the climb up towards the road and finish line.

In the race village, Samer Kaed Bey and Dana Matar, the main organizers of the event, waited for the runners as they crossed the finish line. The atmosphere at the race village was vibrant and lively. Dija’s energy and positivity behind the mic only served to enhance the vibe.

The event was in collaboration with Sport360 and Trail Runners Dxb. Mainly sponsored by SUUNTO watches, and also, AFT Gear Garage, Runners Tribe UAE, Longevity Sports, Top Chef Cooking Studio, RAK TDA, and Mai Dubai.

All runners received a finisher medal, a t-shirt and a cap. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall female and male winners in both distances received generous gifts from the sponsors. Meanwhile, all age-group runners got special medals.

Refreshments were available at the finish line as well as Lebanese manakish from Al Qarya snack.

Encouragingly, the event will return for its second edition on November 6 this year: Shawka Hump Race – 2. Make sure to sign up for the race and don’t miss out on this unique experience!

To sign up for the next edition and be informed about dates and timings, follow @Trail_runners_dxb and @Shawka_hump_race on Instagram.

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