The three-race event, which is being held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and staged under the auspices of the Dubai Sports Council, is expected to attract record numbers this year.
With that in mind, organisers are only too keen for all participants and non-running attendees to leave plenty of time to get to the start line and stands and park a sufficient distance away from the route and any accompanying closed roads. “Basically, we’re advising people not to come to the area by car because obviously – with 20,000-30,000 people coming for the same three start times – it’s going to be congested,” said event director Peter Connerton.
“There are some fantastic facilities all around the area and approaches from both sides of Sheikh Zayed Road
“If people plan their trips like you would your holiday, it’s very easy – pick somewhere that you’re familiar with in the car and then walk the final two or three kilometres. For many years, I used to go to Lansdowne Road in Dublin and walk five or six miles to go to a football match, so it’s nothing unusual, and you wouldn’t go anywhere near the stadium.
“We are advising people to give themselves a lot of time – say 5am – and to make it easy on themselves by parking some distance away.
“We cannot direct anyone to go to any one place because then everyone goes there and there’s congestion. We tried that last year and there were delays.
“We don’t want that to happen again, although the infrastructure here is superb and I don’t think we’ll have anything like that again.”
All three races will start and finish outside The Pavilion, Downtown Dubai, with the marathon runners getting underway at 7am.
The 10km field will hear the start gun at 7:15am, while the Fun Run is scheduled for a 10:30am start.
As well as the sporting side of the $1 million event, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will also feature a Marathon Village on the Burj Park, with food and beverage stands, sponsor tents and entertainment throughout the day.
The official advice is as follows: “If you’re planning to experience the Dubai Marathon for the first tome, the following is recommended to ensure your first experience goes off without a hitch.
“Parking in the Downtown area is not advised, so – if you are travelling by car – please plan your trip.
“Walkways from the Business Bay Metro station link directly to Burj Park and you will be able to cross Sheikh Zayed Road via the covered path. “If you are driving, it is best to park on the Safa Park side of Sheikh Zayed Road and walk from there. Better still, ditch the car and ride the metro the whole way!
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