It was a massive team of 5 from Premier Timing covering the Saucony Autodrome 5k race. You may have been forgiven for thinking that they had nothing else on. In fact they were doing the event timing at 5 events in Dubai this weekend. 5 years ago in 2009 they only covered 6 events in the Emirates in the whole year. Sport, running, swimming and cycling have grown massively in the Emirates. Premier on Line and Premier Timing have been instrumental in that growth and we are very grateful for the support they give to the running community and in particular for their co-sponsorship of the Saucony Autodrome 5k.
As has been noted by many in the event feedback this is intentionally a no thrills, low cost event. Even so the AED 50 entry fee (AED 20 for juniors) doesn’t remotely cover the costs of putting on such an event. We are very grateful for the support of Saucony, Dubai Autodrome, Aerofit and Premier Timing in bearing the bulk of the costs. I am also greatly indebted to the others on the race organizing team, Katrina Rafferty, Anja Schwerin and Servee Palmans for their help and hard work. I can’t go into detail here, but the hassle involved in organizing such an event is in stark contrast to the very smooth execution of the event on race day.
I now have to switch to a negative note. Regrettably, several runners decided to cheat and cut corners during the race. This was noted and reported by the marshals. Two runners were reported as cheating several times over, even doing so on the 2nd lap after having been warned by the marshals on the first lap. They were disqualified. They were both good, experienced runners from one of the local clubs and should have known better. I am issuing this as a warning. Anyone caught cheating at future events put on by Dubai Road Runners will be disqualified and will not be permitted to enter future DRR events.
Having got that out of the way let’s switch to the positive side. With the switching of the event from Wednesday to Thursday we were able to bring the start time forward and incorporate a junior 2.5 km race. This was very much appreciated and in particular it was great to see the adults cheering the kids in.
Hannah McLaughlin was not just first girl in the junior race, she beat all of the boys too in a time of 9:20. 2nd to cross the line was also a girl, Megan Dingle, just 12 seconds behind Hannah. Megan was first girl in the 9-11 category. Charlotte Whitehead took the prize for first girl in the under 9 age group.
In the boys race, 12 to 14 age group, Andrew Lamb won followed in by Jakub Troc. Harry Ives and Mohammed Lakhany were the other age group winners.
In the 5km race there was no shortage of talent with Ann-Mari Hyrylainen and Ismail Ssenyange taking the prizes for first male and female. Martha Rise, Gerda Steyn and Caoimhe Damiels took the first 3 places in the female 18-39 age group. Very close to the prizes and delighted to break 20 minutes were Katy Hallside, Genevieve Godward and Anja Schwerin. Myriam Lamure won the female 40+ age group and was second female over all in a time of 18:29. There were big smiles from Jill Ten-Bohmer and Rebecca Janaway as they took the prizes in the F50 age group. Diarmuid O’Malley’s family was well represented on the day with his children Luke and Eva in the 2.5 km. But it was his mother in law, Aileen O’Brian who stole the lime light with a win in the female 55+ age group.
The first three runners in the male open were Abdallah Harrati, David Sappa and Ali Boukelaa. I was delighted to see some from my regular training group breaking 20 minutes, Duncan Ross, 18:31, Diarmuid O’Malley, 18:42, Mattthew Reed, 19:20 Hasan Aljijakli 19:24 and Dirk Jan De Wit, 19:32. Chris McCann was again first in M45. Nick Gould and David Hunt were first and second M50. Chris Coleman and Steve Norton were first and 2nd M55.
Once again many thanks to everyone for their great support. Full results can be viewed on the following link.