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Middle Eastern marathon mastery

Personnel deployed on operations in the Middle East brave the small hours to join the Doha Marathon.

Image shows runners at the start line of a marathon race in Qatar.

The Doha Marathon saw more than 8000 runners including members of the UK Armed forces deployed in the Middle East lace up their trainers and take on the iconic 26.2 miles around Qatar's most famous landmarks.

No strangers to early mornings and physical activity, runners started the Doha marathon at 0630 to avoid the Middle Eastern mid-day sun. A welcome relief to those competing over the iconic marathon distance, but also to those taking on the half-marathon and 10k races too.

Image shows marathon competitors on podium in Qatar.

Mental and physical resilience are at the heart of the Royal Air Force deployed on operations, and this unique race provided the opportunity to train and compete whilst overseas whilst taking in the city of Doha.

Flight Lieutenant Mike ran an incredible time of 2:23:02 over the full marathon course, finishing first in the male open category. All the more impressive when considering Mike has been working long hours in support of Air Operations in the Middle East.

Working shifts has made it difficult to form any sort of routine with my training so I’ve been running at all sorts of weird and wonderful times. Being away from family, I’ve used the training as a good distraction and have been hitting 90-100 miles a week, my highest mileage in years.

Flight Lieutenant Mike
Combined Air Operations Centres Watchkeeper

Flight Lieutenant Mike is a Watchkeeper within the Combined Air Operations Centres, the role involves tracking and supporting UK assets in Theatre, in order to deliver on Operations in the Broader Middle East. Mike is also recognised by the RAF as a High Performing Athlete. The High Performing Athlete scheme supports RAF athletes to pursue their sporting goals as far as possible whilst remaining in their primary role.

If you are serving in the RAF and are interested in finding out more about RAF Athletics, follow @RAF_Athletics on Instagram.

Image shows group photo of marathon competitors at the end of their race.

Read more about RAF in the Middle East