Hi James, am also stepping up to full distance for Ed 2014, my times aren't as speedy as yours but they're not massively different (1:57:40 in Ed Half 2013, targetting 1:55:00 for next Half in Dec), so I'll look forward to sharing some training progress chat on here.
Am afraid I'm not much help on the travel side. I've done the Ed Half twice, both times I paid a vast amount for a central hotel so that I could walk to the start point, and I bought a bus ticket to get back to the city centre afterwards but was fortunate enough each time to meet friends and get a lift. I've again bought a bus ticket for 2014 and we'll see if this is the year I finally use it!
Sorry this isn't much practical help to you, maybe this new post will trigger additional responses, either way you'll definitely get more sensible advice as we get closer to race day.
Wow, week 1 of an international relocation and you're already sorting out your running plans! Excellent. Been here myself just over 2 years (= 2 summers!!!), and am happy to stay a wee bit longer. The running is vital for helping you to stay sane!
Not sure what Dubai Road Runners do re a long run, I know that Rebecca Janaway of the Road Runners attends the Striders' weekly Fri morning run. And there's a nice chap called Graham Rafferty who I think is DRR, but also leads a Striders' group long run each Friday. They definitely do their own separate (and I'm told, excellent) speed / interval sessions on other days.
DCS also have a facebook page, in addition to their weekly newsletter of run start times and approximate distances, see if you can have a peep and get a feel for the club.
I adore running here. The summer brings its own challenges but the community is tight and there's always a lot going on.
There’s a strong and very welcoming running community here in Dubai, so you should have no trouble finding a club that suits you.
I joined the Dubai Creek Striders in January, having run their annual Half Marathon event in December. I’d been really impressed by the level of co-ordination, the enthusiasm of the club members, the support and warmth extended to all runners, and the warm ‘club’ feel of the whole thing. It was a super event. I’ve hardly missed a Friday run with them since.
There’s also the excellent ABRaS AC, Dubai Road Runners, Mirdif Milers and a couple of others, all very happy to welcome new members. Links between the clubs are pretty strong, with some Striders training regularly with the ABRaS and vice versa. Good healthy spirit of friendly rivalry and competition in racing season!
I also went with Striders because the meeting points for their Friday long run and Tuesday night intervals sessions are relatively close to where I live.
Maybe see you at a run in the future! Oh, it’s coming into hot and humid season here as you'll already know, so running conditions aren’t ideal. But club runs will continue all summer – with early morning starts and careful pace / distance management. From Oct to April it will be glorious.
The mental stamina to do 17miles in a gym is quite astonishing. Well done!
I find that 10min mile pace on a treadmill feels much harder to maintain than same pace out in the fresh air, and it's not because I'm on a slight incline in the gym, it's just a big struggle against the tedium.
+53secs difference between your min/mile for the Half versus your 10k. Nippy!
Good luck for Aug (aiming to beat 1hr 40?) and also for Chester in Oct