The Sand Pit endurance race is coming to Dubai

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The Sand Pit endurance race is coming to Dubai

The 10-km run will feature 15 intense obstacles in the desert at Al Barari

By Mohamad Kadry

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Published: Sat 28 Mar 2015, 8:21 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:30 PM

If your stamina can handle it, consider taking on Dubai’s newest endurance race The Sand Pit.

The stage is set for an epic 10-km obstacle run in Al Barari on April 17, but just to be clear: this is no cake walk. From treks through icy water and military style barbed wire to sand dune climbs and log rolling, participants will push their bodies to the limit through 15 incredibly wild and challenging obstacles set across the local Dubai desert.

Thousands are expected to take part in the upcoming Sand Pit event, the brainchild of co-founder Firas Masri. We spoke to the adrenaline junkie to figure out what it will take to survive the course in one piece.

Why do you think endurance races are becoming so popular here? 

Simply because a run with obstacles changes the entire dynamic of a run versus what may be viewed as the monotony of running in a straight line by yourself. It’s a lot more exciting when you reach an obstacle and have to figure out how to overcome it with the people around you. Also, the tone is generally not as serious as other events; people just want to get wet, dirty, challenge themselves and have a good laugh once they cross the finish line.

Event co-founder Firas Masri

What’s unique about The Sand Pit challenge?

The first big differentiator is that we do not time our events – we are a run, not a race. We got a lot of feedback from very competitive people who went to the Spartan Race saying that when they actually started the race, they no longer cared what their time was going to be or if they came first; they were mostly focused on the challenge itself and helping each other to take on the obstacles. The second thing is our obstacles. I’ve been to several runs and did not always feel challenged by some of the obstacles I experienced. We designed ours in a way to ensure that each and every one of them will make people feel a sense of accomplishment when they are overcome. The last thing is our post event activities. We got all sorts of food vendors on board as well as free post massage therapies, cryo recovery units and an awesome after-party.

How should someone prepare physically and mentally for the event?

We have developed training videos whereby we provide specific regimens for each of our obstacles. We made sure that the workouts are not too complex in order to make them accessible to all our audience. We also have training and food guides on our website ( that provide general rules to everyone so that people of all athletic levels can benefit. As for the mental preparation, my advice would be for people to take on a challenge during their current workouts that they think is just beyond their reach and go for it. Other than that I would come into The Sand Pit with a strong, determined mindset, ready to take on the challenge and have a good time doing it.

Some of the course obstacles require more than one person to be completed. Team work seems to be a central component of the event.

Of course, we are all about people working together as opposed to competing against each other. This is one of the reasons we do not time our events; for people to focus on overcoming the obstacles through fellowship.

What do you think will be the most talked-about obstacle on the course?

Definitely ‘Into The Pit’, a four metre jump into muddy water. Or maybe The Mountain, a 20 metre high hard sand dune that is super steep.

Has the course been tried and tested yet?

We are currently building the obstacles and we have a track which is already in place. The most amazing thing about this venue in Al Barari is that you will never be able to experience anything like it anywhere else in the UAE; the trees, soft sand, hard gravel, water, mini dunes, it’s amazing.

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