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Off to a good start

February 5, 2010
Group before training

Our Gulf for Good group setting off for our training session in Mushrif Park, Dubai

The alarm going off on a Friday morning was a shock and  the wind was howling outside but the roads were really empty as I ventured out to Mushrif Park, Dubai.  It was the first time to meet some of my fellow “trekkies” for Lebanon.  There were also some brave souls training for Killimanjaro.  We set off round the 5 km cycle track several of us, including me, wearing our new hiking boots for the first time.  It was time to see if my newly purchased Timberlands were cushions of air or blister-making agony.  Picked up a hiking tip along the way from challenge-veteran Patricia…Vaseline. A thick layer under your sock instead of a hi-tec inner sock (this was something new!) helps prevent rubbing.  Like any new venture, a new world of kit awaits.  We talked about backpacks, camel packs, lightweight technical hiking clothing and walking poles.  I went lo-tec and wore my Atom t-shirt.  Please comment if you have any recommendations!

Joseph mentioned that he comes from Qoubayat, where we start our trek from  in Lebanon (it has its own website) .  We’ll have a send off from his Grandparents and other relatives and he offered to give us a personal tour of the village.  It was a bit overcast but the park was quiet and pretty in a very unmanicured way – unusual for Dubai.  You can see more pictures if you click on the photo.  After 15km (3 circuits) we started to see families arriving and setting up their barbecues and tents to camp out for the day.  There were a few inclines on the track which was good practise and I could feel an ache in my hips at the end of the session.  I was surprised at how stiff I felt when I got out of the car after the 40 minute drive home.  There is a long way to go for my fitness training.  I don’t like the sound of next Friday morning’s circuit training on the beach.  The one and only time I did this was about 20 years ago and it killed me then.  If you’ve trained for a similar trek have you got any tips?  Be gentle with me….

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