Dubai’s 1st long-distance adventure race is coming up in December

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Representational Image

Hatta, the inland exclave of Dubai, is all set to be the sporting hub for adventure lovers. For that, the Dubai Sports Council has arranged an exciting package of community activities for the area. 

Garmin Quest 2020, the miniature adoption of the most epic global adventure race “World’s Toughest Race” is one among the attraction of the Hatta Region.

Dubai Sports Council, Hatta Adventures, Garmin and Arabian Epic have joined together to set up this exciting race to ensure a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the foothills of the Hajar Mountains. It will allow participants to ride through rugged mountain terrain, trail through some of the UAE’s oldest populated lands and kayak in the waters of Hatta Dam.

Garmin Quest 2020, which will take place on December 18, is the country’s first long-distance adventure race focusing on mountain biking, trail running and kayaking. Registration to participate in this exciting event is now open on the Hopa Sports website, but there are only limited places available.

Participants can only register as individuals and they can choose from two categories, which are the Challenger category, which is open to people aged 14 to 60, and the Explorer category that is open to people aged 17-60.

Gameplay in each category

Participants will run for a combined distance of 5.5 km, bike for 13 km and kayak 1 km in six separate stages in the Challenger category. Stage 1 will include 6 km of cycling, Stage 2 will be a 2.5 km run, Stage 3 will take participants for the 1 km kayak to Hatta Dam until they reach the trails again for a 2.5 km run. Stage 5 will see them return for a 7 km cycling on their mountain bikes before they get back on their feet for a 500 meter run to the finish line.

Hatta Cycling Image
Hatta Cycling

In the Explorer category, participants will run for a total of 10km, cycle for 27km and kayak for 1km (Stage 1: 20km cycle; Stage 2: 2.5km Run; Stage 3: 1km kayak; Stage 4: 2.5km Run; Stage 5: 7km Cycle; Stage 6: 5km Run).

Competitors will need to bring their own mountain bike or they can rent one from the event shop upon registration, while the organizers will supply the kayaks, paddles, and buoyancy help. The amount for these products will be included in the registration fee.

In addition, all participants must bring and carry the mandatory kit, which includes a backpack, a race bib belt, basic first aid kit, road map, survival/foil blanket and whistle, appropriate food and drinks, a bike helmet, a spare tube, a pump or CO2 canister and suitable shoes, with trail runners being recommended.

Game suggestions and precautions

There will be no road closures for the cycling stages, so participants will have to comply with all road traffic rules, ensure that they don’t listen to music on their headphones, and have their helmets on while they’re cycling or riding their bike. However, 95 percent of the route included in the race is off-road.

Hatta Wadi hub
Hatta Wadi Hub

All COVID-19 protective measures have been adopted by the authorities. Precautions like social distancing and wearing a mask must be adhered to by the competitors at all times while not running. Littering is strictly prohibited and any person found doing so in any section of the course will be disqualified immediately.

All competitors and routes will start from Hatta Wadi Hub, and the participants must be present at the spot 60 minutes before starting the race. The first wave is scheduled at 7 am.