Dubai, 3 December, 2017: The third edition of the National Day Camel Marathon was held on Sunday, December 3rd, at Dubai International Endurance City in Seih Al-Salam, Dubai. With 42 participants, who set off in the early hours of the morning, around a challenging 25km desert course.
The marathon, organized by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, is held annually in cooperation with the Dubai Camel Racing Club, as part of UAE’s National Day celebrations. In celebration of the 46th National Day this year, the third edition, saw the riders displaying their full range of skills, with the finest performances along the course, as a testament to their true heritage.
On the occasion, Ms. Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC congratulated the Rulers and people of the United Arab Emirates, in addition to congratulating the winners. She further expressed her pleasure in once again organizing this authentic heritage sport as part of the 46th National Day celebrations. “Today’s marathon has built upon the success of the previous two events, as exemplified by experience and knowledge of the riders, which has helped raise the bar in terms of the level of commitment and skill shown by these professionals in the field of camel racing. In order to complete this enduring marathon, the riders have increased their levels of fitness with intensive training. Consequently “We noticed that the finish line in previous years saw few competitors, but this year there were more than 12 riders coming to the finish line and only a few seconds apart at the finish line,” said Souad Ibrahim.
Ghudair Ghulam Musa Al Balooshi on the back of the “Mashgheb”, who took an early lead within the first 2km, finished in 1st place in a time of 1 hour and 5 minutes, in a closely matched race, which saw his elder brother Shafar Ghulam Musa Al Balooshi on the back of “Mowalaa” finish second, by no more than a camel length, for the 2nd year running. Khamis Ali Saeed Al-Malai finished third.
For his part, Ali Bin Surood, Executive Director of the Dubai Camel Racing Club, congratulated the winners, the leadership and the people of the UAE on the occasion of the 46th National Day. “The two most important factors in this marathon are the ability of the rider and the capability of the camel. The distance is 25km, and the rider and camel must work together in total synergy. This marathon truly tests the endurance of both, the riders need to have high levels of fitness and stamina, in addition to showing a great level of patience and skill in planning their race strategy.”
“Mashagheb is one of the fastest and most compact camels I’ve ever owned,” said Ghudair Ghulam Musa Al Balooshi, winner of the first place, who started riding camels at the age of seven. Both my brother and I prepared for the marathon by training twice a day for over 4 months, he added.
“This marathon is one of the most difficult races I have ever participated in, it was a race that truly tested both my mental and physical stamina, as well as that of the camel. While I took an early lead, I had to focus on conserving my energy, so I could make it to the finish. Only after I crossed the finish line, did I realize just how close the race had been. I was delighted to see my brother come in second place”.
“I have participated in the previous years, and what impressed me in this year’s marathon was the number of competitors who managed to finish the race, which was great. “I thank the organizers for arranging this evet as part of the National Day celebrations, and congratulate the people of the UAE and their Rulers.”
The winner received a 4X$ Nissan Patrol and a Golden Sword, while second placed Shafar Ghulam Musa Al Balooshi received a cash prize of 70 thousand dirhams, and the third placed Khamis Ali Saeed received a cash prize of 30 thousand dirhams. All the riders up to 30th place received cash prizes to encourage them to participate in this event and thereby preserving the country’s Heritage.
The official sponsors of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center are Al Tayer Motors and Land Rover, Dubai Airports, Abdul Wahid Al Rostamani (Al Arabiya Motors), Global Village and Al Oula Radio.