2016 Spartan Arabia Race - Mleiha Desert, Dubai
Hello sports fans,
What a great week out in Dubai, UAE shooting the 2016 Spartan Arabia race in the desert near the Mleiha Archeological site with our friends and colleagues at Epic Action Imagery and Outpost 9.
This race site is now known to show evidence of humans leaving Africa and moving across the globe some 130,000 years ago during the Palaeolithic period. The actual Spartan Race was located a further 5Km in to the desert from Mleiha, a place of natural beauty with widespread desert and mountains. Due to the location on the equator, day changes to night rapidly (and visa versa). One minute your in bright sunshine and about 30 minutes later it is pitch black and the sky fills with bright stars.
Spartan Races are classified as an Obstacle Course Race (OCR) where just running a distance is not enough, you must conquer various tough obstacles along the course. Spartan Races are serious physical and mental challenges that occur across the globe. Their races attract many people wishing to challenge themselves and no more so than in the Arabian Desert of Mleiha in Sharja (near Dubai, UAE). My role at this event was to capture imagery of the event for Spartan promotions and publicity as well as shooting the final obstacle - the fire jump. The Spartan Race at Mleiha included two races - a Sprint Race and a Beast Race.
We arrived in Dubai early on Thursday and after collecting our 4x4 we headed off out of the city to Sharjah where the hotel was located. I have to say compared to previous hotel accomodation we had experienced, this was by far the most luxurious. In the United Arab Emirates, the weekend is Friday and Saturday and so our first task was to visit the site on Thursday to become familiar with the course for race day. It was great fun rambling around the desert in one of the multi-terrain 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Race day on Friday and up very early to be onsite at 5:30am as the race start was 7:30am. My first task was to start shooting the event village with my colleague at Epic Action Imagery including images that highlighted the event sponsors involvement as well elements of the Spartan Race - registration, obstacles, competitors and start of the first race etc. Once completed, I moved over the the Fire Jump obstacle to prepare for the competitors tackling the obstacle. The competitors race across the desert with a temperature of 30+deg.C and to end jumping a fire added to the heat. Many competitors crossed the line with a sense of accomplishment which could be seen in their faces. I have the utmost respect for the competitors striving to achieve a challenge such as this. Well done to them all.
A fire jump images is shown below
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