A ‘cultural’ run

Wind tower house at Katara.

Wind tower house at Katara.

Another day, another sweaty run.

For the most part, I ran alone on my most recent long run. Anti-social I know but I’m really concentrating on running within my lower heart rate zones and so I don’t think it’s really fair on my running partners if I keep stopping to walk, which I am invariably having to due to the humidity.

And so it was around 4.40am when I left home to cover the 10km to our regular Friday long run meeting point. The thinking being that I’d arrive just before the new runners leave and I could tot up a few more miles with them.

It was dawn when I set out and there were very few souls around as I tottered along the edge of the roads towards the coast. Endeavouring to avoid having to clamber over the concrete blocks surrounding some of the many current roadworks in Doha, my routes are limited.

I ended up making my way through the streets of Doha’s cobbled cultural village. Yep I know, not what you’d expect to find in the desert. Coming from a Western mentality the term ‘culture’ evokes ‘heritage’, ‘tradition’, but it’s slightly different here. ‘Culture’ can be used to encompass any culture from anywhere, and so gone are the sand dunes, camels and Bedouin tents, instead there’s a marble amphitheatre, expansive indoor gallery spaces, and cup-cake shop.

There’s a nod towards authentic architecture with a traditional wind tower house. There’s also a falcon’s hood shaped building, housing what else but a falcon hospital.

Let’s face it, Katara isn’t really meant for running, but it makes a change from busy roads, is pretty much deserted at dawn and it is beautiful, as the dark changes to light with views over the towers of West Bay. Despite the searing heat, the lung starving humidity, it’s a pleasant run walk down to meet the newer runners.

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