One of the most popular sporting event in the region, the Wadi Bih Run, returns for another adrenaline-pumping race on the 1st of February, celebrating its latest edition in the town of Dibba.
The race is set to challenge participants to run across the rugged terrains of Dibba, a place known for serving a series of routes that require strenuous efforts and lots of stamina, making it a perfect event for sport aficionados.
Oman Magazine had the pleasure of catching up with the race director, Neil Young, to talk about the run and what it has in stores for this year.
Oman Magazine: The run has quite an interesting and inspiring story. For those who may not know about it, how did the Wadi Bih run come about?
Neil: Wadi Bih run came about 27 years ago when a family friend of ours started the race. It was quite small, and the first race had only about 50 families. Mr John Young (Neil’s father) ran the race for 10 years and I ran the race for the last 6 years.
There’s been a vast increase in numbers over the years as we have commercialised it and got sponsors on board as well. In 2016, Dibba run saw over 1500 participating over 5 different categories.
O: The route is said to be one of the most beautiful in Oman, do you think this is why the event has proven so popular?
N: Apart from the unique setting of the wadi, the event is one of few races that has team relays, which makes it popular. The wadi is very peaceful and picturesque and provides a great escape from the city, too.
O: We also read that the same route is now much more difficult due to natural causes. Was going ahead with the location part of the challenge?
N: The route and location have never been an issue. The only issue that everyone face is during the border crossing. The race takes place in Dibba, which is technically in Oman but on the peninsula of U.A.E.
Its always been a little bit of challenge, but we have developed great relations with the Sharjah and Dubai police over the past few years which has definitely helped participants.
O: Would you recommend participants to train prior to the event?
N: Yes, would definitely recommend participants to train at least one month prior to the event. It would also help to go down to local running clubs and participate in a few 3 to 5-kilometre races.
O: How will this year’s edition of the race improve on the previous races?
N: Border crossing would be much more efficient and we’ve got new sponsors on board, which would provide additional benefits to participants. Also, the course would be very well done this year.
O: What are some of the features and facilities on site?
N: There’s camping by the beach, pool access for everyone and BBQ. Watch out for those freebies by sponsors!
O: Final question, What is your goal for this race or what message are you trying to get across to the participants and to the readers in general?
The goal for the race is to escape the urban jungle and get into Oman and get running! We want this to be a team-building run where everyone can participate and have fun, it’s not just for serious runners.
Join the Race
Wadi Bih Run 2019
When: 1st February 2019
Where: Golden Tulip Hotel, Dibba (start and finish location)
Contact: +971 50 4737634
Mountain 72km – 04.30am
Canyon 50km – 05.00am
Zighy 30km – 05.30am
Team 72km and 50km – 06.00am onwards
For more information visit their official website: wadibih.com