I had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Doha, Qatar, for an educational conference. As with all of my work-related travel, I looked up nearby races and found the only one in the area…and it happened to fall the weekend I would be traveling. I immediately booked with a bit of an extra buffer, and decided to run yet another international race.
A few days before my travels, I visited my PT and was diagnosed with hip bursitis and hip strain. She said absolutely no running. I figured that I could downgrade from the half marathon and that things would be fine.
The race check-in was at the park in front of the Museum of Islamic Art. I saw clouds rolling in but thought nothing of it. The race check-in was just a few tents and lines for picking up bibs, not at all like the expo setup of races in the US. We had booked a hotel room a few blocks away from the race, to avoid having to take an Uber into town the morning of the race. I was glad we ended up doing that because the weather absolutely turned on us!
The morning of the race, it was raining. Not like Seattle rain, where it was a mist or drizzle. This was full on heavy, flooding rain. The weather settled down a bit and we made our way to the start line, but as soon as the half marathon runners set off, the sky dumped buckets of water on the entire running path. It only rains a few days a year in Doha, and it certainly picked the best day for a torrential rain storm.
I waited behind in the massage tent for my race to start. I switched from the half marathon, to the 5K, to the 10K. I was a bit concerned just waiting around by myself. I just felt really out of place in general. However, once I got to the race area I felt more at home with my fellow runners, and less uneasy about hanging around.
Because of the staggered race start, I ended up finishing a little after Erik. They had meal boxes, which was a super nice touch. I pretty much consider this race to be an aquajog since the water level was never less than my ankle the entire time. Even though I wasn’t supposed to run, it felt like a lot of the impact was taken off of my joints because of the flooding.
For those of you who are interested in this race, I would have to say it was a great one. Lots of spirit and culture. Very close to all downtown hotels and a short car ride from the airport. If I get invited back next year, I’ll try to run it again for sure!