More than 200 runners lined up to take part in the first edition of the Shawka Hump Race on March 27th in Wadi Shawka Ras Al Khaimah. It was a race hosted and organized by Runners for Runners. The event included two routes, one of 10 km and the other over a distance of 21 km.
The 10km course was designed for beginners to trail races and also for pros to test their skills and timing over a short distance. The race started with a nearly 4km jeep trail to get to the first checkpoint where the runners were greeted and assisted by Mohamed Mohsen and Mamerto Gamboa who were also the organizers of the race.
To get to the first checkpoint, the runners were guided by our amazing volunteers and Moataz Bellah who reported bib numbers passing his station. The trail then turned onto a short technical climb to get to a flat section where Haytham Hosny and Hasan Al Makhmari of the Al Mulhimon tribe waited to capture everyone on camera before climbing back up a singletrack to go to Getting to the street where Emna Boubaker was standing animated and led the runners to the finish.
The runners of the 21 km distance started at 5:30 am. They started from the same spot as the 10K runners, but started an hour earlier. It took them on a longer jeep trail route of around 10km to the checkpoint, where Houda Bou Hayat, who also helped organize, and Sebastien Vaillant cheered on the runners and helped them stay hydrated.
The route took them back the same way until they branched off to a single terrain that ran up and down the valley. Amir Bou Reslan, who was also one of the organizers, guided the runners in the right direction at the junction where the path split. The route continued along a narrow path until they reached the base of a grueling climb called the “Mother Hump Climb,” named after Coach Lee Harris.
Angela Bak waited for the runners at the base of the climb with cold water, encouraging them as they prepared for the climb. The course then continued downhill past Haytham Hosni and Hassan Al Makhmari of the Mulhimon Tribe who took some spectacular shots, to the point where they met the 10km course runners and then the climb to the road and to the finish line.
In the race village, Samer Kaed Bey and Dana Matar, the main organizers of the event, were waiting for the runners as they crossed the finish line. The atmosphere in Renndorf was lively and alive. Dija’s energy and positivity behind the mic only helped set the mood.
The event took place in cooperation with Sport360 and Trail Runners Dxb. Mainly sponsored by SUUNTO watches but also by AFT Gear Garage, Runners Tribe UAE, Longevity Sports, Top Chef Cooking Studio, RAK TDA and Mai Dubai.
All runners received a finisher’s medal, a t-shirt and a hat. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall winners of both distances received generous gifts from the sponsors. Meanwhile, all age group runners received special medals.
Refreshments and Lebanese Manakish from Al Qarya Snack were served at the finish line.
Fortunately, the event returns on November 6th this year for its second edition: Shawka Hump Race – 2. Be sure to register for the race and don’t miss out on this unique experience!