WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS MONTH
LAST MONTH’S HIGHLIGHTS
Mainline classes remain the same but with an additional class at 10pm. Please double check the schedule and remember to book via the MINDBODY app or through reception.
MEET…OMAR AND JONNY
Q: You recently competed in the MDS? What is it?
Jonny: So Omar and I finished the 32nd edition of the Marathon de Sables, a 250km ultra marathon that takes place every year in the Moroccan Sahara desert over 6 days, the equivalent of doing one marathon per day for 6 days. It is considered to be the toughest footrace on earth with participants from all over the world carrying their own food and equipment, sleeping on the ground with no showers or basic comforts for a week. The 250km covers flat ground, sand dunes, mountains, rough terrain all in temperatures that reached 45degrees Celsius.
Q: Why did you do it?
Jonny: I wanted to experience something unique that few people have done, to test my limits as a human being and see what I am capable of.
Omar: I decided I wanted to challenge myself with something that I felt was beyond my limit and scared me. My goal wasn’t the result, just to follow through with the commitment and making sure to go the distance.
Q: What was the most challenging part?
Jonny: The first day of the run when I was hit by the realisation that nothing had prepared us for this and was unsure if I could even finish this race. The days ahead looked impossible to complete and I even thought of dropping out the first day. With Omar’s help we completed the first day and then we stuck to it day by day. The 4th day, the 86km was hell as it took me 21hours to complete with the blisters in my feet killing me. Tramadol was my “good” friend on this day. The heat of the day. The lack of showers and hygiene.
Omar: First of all the commitment to training day in and day out was difficult especially with no running background. Just sticking to the decision I made and not giving up half way through the training. While racing my most challenging part was on day 2 when I ended up dehydrated 15km into that run. I couldn’t put any food down and was vomiting along the way. I literally had to take it step by step. After completing the stage I ended spending several hours in the clinic before they gave me the all clear to continue the next day. Mentally I was crushed. I wasn’t sure if I could do this and we were still only going into day 3. Mentally I was at limit, that was definitely the most challenging part for me.
Q: How did you feel after it?
Jonny: It took me 3 weeks to recover, and even though I believe we accomplished something great I still haven’t come to terms with it. I miss the scenery, the people and the whole vibe and when I look at the pictures I am filled with amazing emotions.
Omar: I decided during the race not to complain but as soon as I completed the race on the last day I declared I am ready to leave this place and head home. But as soon as I was back in Dubai I appreciated every moment of the experience and was exhilarated at what I had accomplished.
Q: What’s next?
Jonny: This is a tough one as yet I have not come up with something even though I want my next adventure to be bigger than the MdS. I have different thoughts in my mind and hopefully Marcus can help out with this.
Omar: The joy of being cut off from the world for a week and focusing on the day to day basics needed to get through the race was such a great feeling that I have been convincing the people around me to come up with their own challenge to try and experience that feeling I felt. So what next is I have convinced my wife and a few of her friends to climb Kilimanjaro, so I will support and train with them for their challenge. For me I’m still thinking.