The opening event of the World Peace Games, which took place in March, was the Desert Endurance Marathon where four-persons teams crossed from the east to the west coast of the UAE in five grueling stages. Mountain biking was a big part of the Endurance Marathon, and as these photos taken by Jack Atley show, the Emirates provides plenty of suitable terrain and amazing scenery for this all- action sport. The cycling stage of the Marathon was the first major mountain bike event ever held in the Emirates. The mountain bike stage of the race involved about 150km of off-road action for spectators and the route threw up some unexpected obstacles for competitors.
Unfortunately, the Jordanian team did not take any spares and the terrain caused a considerable about on punctures, resulting in do competitors having to carry their bikes further that they got to ride them. If you are an outdoor-type keen to see some of the Emirates from the seat of a mountain bike yourself, North Star Expeditions, the company responsible for organizing the Desert Endurance Marathon on can sort you out. Headed by ex-SAS man, Paul Flaherty, his experience in one of the world’s toughest military regiments makes him well qualified for outdoor pursuits. That is if you organize a group of one-off Desert Endurance Marathon, albeit a somewhat easier one.
All activities are arranged around the demands of the rider. And of course, as Paul is trained in various survival techniques, he can always knock you up a fried snake sandwich, or some other tasty desert delight, should you find yourself stranded miles from anywhere without food. North Star is currently putting together the next Desert Endurance Marathon, which will take place in Jordan. “We are hoping to start the next race by dumping competitors out the back of a Hercules transport plane,” says Paul. If that sounds like fun to you, applications should be sent too north Star.