Dubai Marathon – January 22, 2016

I’ve spent the last two weeks agonizing over my next marathon. Washington DC will soon become a frozen wasteland and my mind is starting to drift towards warmer climes. I was thinking about running one of three Caribbean marathons over the weekend of January 17th (Bermuda, Bahamas, and Trinidad & Tobago). Unfortunately, airfare for that weekend has gone through the roof and all mattresses have followed suit.

The answer? Dubai.

The Dubai Marathon is the only marathon hosted by the United Arab Emirates and it actually looks pretty underwhelming. The course is one big out and back. Ugh. The marathon starts at 6:30am and temperatures should be between 50 and 60F (10-15c). I’m assuming it will be warmer towards the end the race.

Update 12/18/2015: After talking with my family I will not be participating in the Dubai marathon this year. I want this information f  won’t delete the post.

I plan on staying at the Al Barsha hotel (near the start) or the Holiday Inn near Internet City (if Al Barsha is full). Al Barsha is right next to Emirates Mall and Ski Dubai (just like it sounds) so that should be a blast.

The real reason I want to run this race is for the flights. I love planes and Dubai is Emirates’ main hub. This means that, after stopping over for my race, I can fly anywhere in the world (routing does not allow Australia/OZ). Right now I’m leaning towards India/Nepal.

Emirates flies direct to Dubai out of IAD (DC’s international airport) and I’m tired of flying to NYC to get a decent business/first class product. Unfortunately, during my routine aircraft inspection, I learned Emirates operates a 777 out of IAD instead of their flagship A380 (seen on TV).

The difference boils down to a 13 hour flight on an angled lie flat seat on the 777 versus a true lie flat seat on the A380. The 777’s stone age business class is also in a 2-3-2 configuration (Delta’s 767s are nicer). The flagship A380s have a true 1-2-1 configuration, an onboard bar and a second level for business/first passengers. I’m going to shoot for seats 6A or 6K if I decide to fly out of IAD (doubtful) and you should too!

The Emirates A380 leaves JFK Terminal 4 at 10:40am (AA is in terminal 8). My guess is you will find me on the 5:55am DCA-JFK AA flight.

Uninspiring Course Map, but inspirational flight.

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 5.20.58 PM
Dubai Marathon Course Map

One thought on “Dubai Marathon – January 22, 2016

  • December 20, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    This is very fascinating read about the airline travel, and that Dubai is such the hub for world travel. A great way to connect a marathon, take in the attractions of Dubai, and then travel to a new destination.

    All the best on your race. 🙂


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