The North Face Rock Run
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139 people have rated this event.
“Must say I really enjoyed the over all experience.Event was a success and hats off to the entire crew! Of course, there had been few misinterpretations in regards to the start timings, but its okay considering the fact that there were 1k participants.More efficient & effective, if timing chips included in race packs.I disregarded the mandate kit, which I admit was a mistake from my end and take full responsibility.The lady at the finish line politely explained it to me. Amazing medal, loving it!”
Edited on 11.04.2016
“Race started 45 minutes late; people got lost on the course because of a lack of markers and staffers nearby; numbers and shirts were disorganized (my number was 'lost' and I had to get a new one). Overall, this was a beautiful trail, but the event was tarnished by a very late start time and lack of trail markers. ”
“Great route and plenty of support along the way. Organisation at the start was quite poor but when the race started it was great fun!”
“A great event and the after event entertainment was excellent”
“Overall a really great family fun event. The night time singer was really good - please book her for next year. marshmallows and fire entertainer was great for kids. Facilities clean. Improvements: We like North face gear and were disappointed that this is a disposable t-shirt, marred by the bib number printed on it, and incorrect sizing (ladies and kids) - the sizes were smaller than normal for events. A normal North face T- shirt would be better. More dustbins, none even in bathrooms! thks.”
“Loved the course no doubt as it was beautiful and challenging. The pre race communication and road signage to the event location as perfect but the moment we set foot at the event things went south. Huge queues for chip collection, delayed start and miscommunication of new start time. horrible route signage that led quite a few of us astray. Support stations were not all that great. event results and photo service is horrendous. ”
“It started late, no excuse, also a large group of runners got lost, myself included, not well marked.
Staff was great!
I will due it again if it's better organized next year”
“Race Pack - TOTAL DISSAPOINTMENT, expensive, Medal - last yr was way even better, no mark of KMs in the medal, no headlamp for 21km, no free food/buffet, great race course still, lively pre-race, not a fan of shirt with ur bib no on it, I usually collect them, considerate cool staff, great effort, humbling great experience, last runner on 21km - tracks are great, but ul get lost if you dont pay attention, til' now - me & my friends can't get over our dissapointment on the race packs.”
“I'm sure it is not easy to organise an event for such a large number of runners and I appreciated the effort that went into it. Race pack collection details were wrong. The queues for chip collection were long and disorganised. It's difficult to find the race results? Overall a very expensive race and not value for money.
The course and venue is great and the finish was well organised. It would be nice to receive a cold drink at the finish. Looking forward to a better race experience next time!”
“Well done on the weather!”
“Looking forward to more such events by the team. A couple of glitches her and there, does not in any way diminish the overall awesome work done by the team to pull this off. Well done you guys. ”
“The event should be more oragnize
-no road markings
-my T-shirt (XL)was not suitable for my body (M)
-no start respect, departed delayed to 4:45 but they give start at 4:20
-no bottle watter & foodat arrival
-280 Dhris too expensive for this event”
“People need to remember trail races are new in Dubai and it's not easy to coordinate 1000 people! I think the organizers were very accommodating, yes we started late, no big deal, running in the dark took a whole new sense to explore!! Loved the post race party and entertainment! Can't wait to do this next year!”
“Lacked leadership and common sense management of the event. Why close race pack collection on 20 Mar at stores when you are still advertising the event? What is the point of using your own timing chips when they don't even deliver an effective result publishing method? Why tell people the race is delayed by 45 mins only to start it 35 mins later?”
“Apart from a late start due to late comers the event was great!”
“I registered a few days before the deadline and was notified to pick up race pack at the event since in-Dubai store pick-up was over. I never did get a race pack, only a white t-shirt and a mismatched timing chip. I missed the start for the 10 km becuase they announced a delay of 45 mins; i went to my car to wait and then they started only 15 minutes late. I ran the first kms alone without the adrenaline of a proper start! plus side: the after party was great but the band didn't play long enuf!”
“Still now . no any results....
Where can I find it ...?
otherwise nice race.
See you on the next year
“The place is amazing and i was looking forward to come and when im here i found my t-shirt lost, my timing chip taken by someone else and i have been given i huge large t-shirt which made me look really funny. Come on i guess u can do better than this ... !!!!”
“If better organized could be a great event. Overpriced.”
“Collection of race packs - Email stated Sun & Sand however the store was closed for refurbishment!
Mandatory running shirt - Our shirts were white and of low quality. Only at the event we found out that female runners actually got pinkish North Face shirts and guys wore green. The white ones were no name shirts because The North Face actually ran out of shirts...
Collection of timing chip - long lines and completely unorganized. Not a nice way to start a race
To top it all, race started late”
“This was a great event. I know there were some logistical issues and so many people already ranted about them on FB but this is only the 2nd event and to be able to pull this off for over 1200 runners is no east feat (or should I say feet :) ). I very much enjoyed and appreciated the effort that went into it. For my two young daughters it was their first trail race and they had a blast. Thanks again North Face; job well done!!”
“The run itself was really fun, scenery was amazing. The organisation was terrible. Announcing a 45min delay at the start time is not cool, especially for those people who arrived well ahead of schedule. I am also yet to know my finish time, where are these available?”
“It doesnt mention 21 km on the medal.No food station at the Finish.”
“Give the chips out with the race pack to avoid queuing again on race day.
Start the race on time. More food trucks
Otherwise great event ”
“Also, why dont we have proper timing on a site like premier timing instead of photos in facebook. Please look at best practices in that field”
“Awesome run, will do 10k next year!”
Edited on 04.04.2016
Loved the course and the weather made it even better. Reflectors were really helpful for late finishers and showed the amount of effort put in to help the runners
For some reason my finish timing published was 6mins more than what I had clocked. The lack of mile/km markers made it difficult to track progress. The headlight and the face mask/bandana should've been a part of the giveaways (like last time). The results were published very late and not a very friendly format”
Edited on 04.04.2016
“This could have been more better if organized well. please provide more giveaways. ”
“Thank you for organising this event for us, loved the change in weather on the day, loved the course, fabulous medal, awesome support crew; but did not like the way the initial setup was handled for timing chip hand over (poorly organised), a lot of people just missed the initial start due the 45 or 30 minute delay confusion, and then accommodating those who are late by 30 minutes delay to the event, what about the 900+ waiting at the venue? Hope to see improvements in the next round next year ”
“A good event that was not very well organised. I had to wait over 45 mins to register only to be told I did not have a race pack. The organisation aside, the route was not well briefed or marshalled properly, lots of people went up the wrong wadi resulting in distorted results. 3 days after the event we still don't have any communication regarding the chip times and event photos. The event was expensive and this is not value for money. That aside, it was a good course that was challenging. ”
“What makes this race exciting is the beautiful route. However organisers tolerating late runners is a recipe for disaster. I would have finished before sunset.. but the race started 30mins late!”
“Where were the barbecue? LOL!”
“The emails sent pre-run were very informative however incorrect our race packs pick up from Mirdif city centre was incorrect as sun and sands is under refurbishment, we spent 30 minutes trying to workout where to collect the packs from. On arrival to the race it did not seem to matter if we had our mandatory kits & waiver form as nothing was being checked or seemed organised. We were lucky we stayed around at the start & didn't go back to car. My friend went the wrong way due to poor markings. ”
“The run was great - but it was the natural surroundings that made it. The organisation was pretty bad, from picking up the timers (who's idea was it to put little A4 signs with the numbers down at peoples feet?), to delaying the race, to oh no, lets just start the race whenever, to the lack of toilets for that many people. I probably wouldn't do it again, unless it was for a charity, not a brand. ”
“Absolutely loved the course, and the support stations/ after-run chillout area (and bonfire with marshmallows :) ) was great. Super fun run with friendly people. It's difficult to organize large numbers, a few teething problems with bag/ chip pickup but sure this will be addressed for next year. many thanks for my favourite run so far in the UAE :)”
“It seems like most of the details of this race were planned in a way that looks good to a corporate board but fails in real life. I only have room for the most frustrating part: putting the bib numbers on the shirts. In practicality it means I can't use the shirt for other races (which would give North Face brand exposure!) because it has a number on it. In the Rock Run it meant I couldn't race with my club jersey. And I don't get a bib to hang on my wall, which means more to me than a medal.”
“Who wants to have their timings shown and available in front of everybody on Facebook? I usually don't care but what's the point of uploading the 128 pages with your name, your time and your rank??? It's not easy to find, and if you want to share it on social media, then it's your choice, not north face.
The overall organisation was ok, apart of race pack screw up (who knows 2 weeks in advance which mall they will be going?)
The race time got me confused and annoyed, got me mad!”
“Total disaster in terms of race organisation with the whole competitive element of the 21k turned into a farce due to poor course marking. I ended up running 24k and at the back of the 5k race. Fantastic location however but with this type of organisation should be aimed at fun run distances and walkers.”
“It would have been perfect if the start was not a total mess. Also at the arrival runners should have other options that the vendors !!!
But I am grateful to the organization team to have managed to get unexperienced runners on a track ! I am preparing for the 50 k now !
“Bonne course avec un bon parcours et agréable. Par contre, manque de jalonneurs pour une course de cette distance. Même pas une bouteille d'eau ou un fruit à l'arrivée, ça manque !!!
Petit plus, mettre la distance sur les médailles et les t-shirt !!”
“The course and setting were amazing and because of that I will take part again but there is a lot of room for improvement. The change in start time to 4:45 then actually starting at 4:30 was frustrating and a disappointing start to a 21k run. The marketing was misleading saying there would be a bbq post-race but there were only 2 food vans for food to purchase (and not even healthy food!). The results took 48 hrs to receive and did not even include full info (age categories) and still no pics.”
“Starting time delayed 45 mints, but finally they open before those 45 minutes, people was waitting on their cars as it was cold and when we arrived it was already started.”
“What were the organizers thinking trying to deliver timing chips to 900+ people just before the event. That had to end in disaster. Not cool to delay start by 45min when people have to run 21k and would clearly return long after sunset, not cool to then start race after 30min not 45.
Awkward prize giving just for the winners, still no results out yet. And the BBQ that was advertised for runners and spectators were food trucks where I could BUY food. I am not sure where my 280AED went. ”
“1.Race Pack Distribution not properly organize in the venue, the t-shirt's that we got is white w/c is like made only in 3rd party tailoring shop, compare to those colored t-shirt that is really a product of North face. The fabric and print of white is to far in two original colored t-shirts. 2.BBQ is missing and it was Advertised in the event information. 3. Marshalls and signage is not enough that's why some are lost. But I love the location because that our playground in Landscape photography”
“Great course and scenery. Overall well organised.
Shame about the time it took to collect the race chip at the course - race number and chip number didn't match, a recipe for delays and frustration for the racers collecting the chips and the volunteers having to hand them out.
Also the event started late which is an issue when you want to minimise running in the dark.”
“Overall race arrangements was good. Location selected was excellent.”
“Was a good fun once it had all started, but pre race organisation on the day was a bit of a let down. ”
“The North Face - what are you doing? Terrible brand association. Pre-race was a complete joke. I had no race pack given. No T-shirt to run in (despite 3 emails pre-race confirming we MUST run in the event t-shirt). I was given a race number; a chip for a different race number. No results out yet (2 days later) and pretty sure they will not be correct anyway since many of us had different race numbers/bibs/chips.
Beautiful course and so potential for a great race. VERY disappointed”
“Timing chip handout needs better signage for queing to help move things along quicker. ”
“Informing people 1 Minute before the START only (I guess 90% of the participants) that it is delayed of 45 minutes because of lack of organization is simply not acceptable. You insisted so much on START at 4 PM SHARP, that such situation cannot be acceptable. MOREOVER race started after 30 minutes, and not 45' as announced : how people back to their car knew it ? this is a bit disappointing. Otherwise, the race itself was nice. Please improve next year !!”
“Good overall appreciation
Departure postponed and no timing results are disappointing.”
“Race packs collection location was not communicated on the website so had to show up 2 hours prior to start, only to be told the start would be delayed 45 minutes, which turned to be 30 and almost missed the start!
Was forced to wear race shirt and carry useless and unnecessary 'mandatory gears'.
Poor marking of the course (group had), barely any marshalling. I saw the (unmarked) ambulance car almost run over a runner...
Only 2 food trucks for the after race bbq.
on the plus side, nice scenery.”
“Awesome place to organize a trail. But need to improve the organization: departure delayed to 4:45 and finally done at 4:30; difficult to get results, process for registering and collect race pack was long and odd... Nevertheless this place worth it and will probably do it again.”
“Awesome race with great weather! (how often we run under light rain in such landscape in UAE?).
However there was some issues with the pre-race organization:
-Race-pack collection : was supposed to pick it up from S&S MCC but the store was closed... After going round the mall, found a TNF Shop with the race packs...
-Chip collection on race day: why do we have to pick up the race pack before if we still have to collect the chip on race day? Doesn't make any sense...
“The markup to find the start is not present outside the village. The refreshments are not provided in dry fruits or fruit leg for intance effort.”
“Loved this run, which we did with our two young kids. Great scenery and atmosphere AND a dog race! We camped nearby and appreciated the bean bags, loos and showers and fantastic live music later on - singer was awesome. How do we see results though?? Do we receive an email link or just have to trawl around Google hunting for them? I'm sure all the start line dramas will improve next time. Thanks! ”
“Don’t announce start time of 4:45 & then start earlier. Odd to have prize giving when results still not out. Too slow to get results. Don’t print race Nos on shirts & make shirt mandatory (hydration pack obscures No, shirt uncomfortable & ugly). No recognition for 2nd, 3rd, incl. AGs. Picking up bag at Ibn and chip at race took too long. Place more emphasis on mandatory kit eg first aid, esp on such a tough course. Post-race comms terrible. Great course that was well marked. Awesome medal ”
“The North Face should be very disappointed. Race started late, people got lost, bus shuttle was poorly organised. Volunteers did a great job, but TNF would have paid people to organise this event and would have taken a profit or marketing/advertising profit equivalent. None of the expensive registration fees went to charity (like a lot of these types of events). TNF should be disappointed. ”
“The race itself was awesome. Only the event and planning around it needs some work. Improvement points: registration at the event, starting on time, more food stands, live music earlier when there are more people.”
“Very well organized and great event! And on the day the temperature was great. Only annoyance is that cars were allowed to drive in the wadi during the run. But it was ok.
“This is one of the best places to run in all of the UAE. Northface race area was awesome, but getting started on time and ensuring fairness...runners not following "mandatory" equipment..concerning. Will run again for the course. ”
“Without question the worst event I've participated in the UAE. The course itself was fine but the organisation was a total disaster from race pack pick up through to poor results service.
Simply not worth the time and money. An over priced poorly planned race purely put on for the sponsors profits without any thought for the competitors”
“Overall, a great event! But, need better organizing on the race pack - Timing chip delivery..!”
“It starts at 4pm. Or 4.45pm? No, make it 4.30pm! 40 min queue to collect timing chip.... :( ”
“Great course with novel challenges for someone who doesn't race off road much. But numbers printed on t-shirts doesn't work on a number of levels and resulted in a 45 minute delay in starting the race. And giving prizes to 1st place in each race is miserly. Standard is 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each race PLUS age groups. Didn't affect me much because I only came 4th in the 21k but disappointing for others. Pre race info was a bit confusing at times. Otherwise it all worked out well enough in the end.”
“First time I been in this challenge I thought it's going to be just an easy run so I didn't prepare my self like it's going to be quite hard anyway I suppose to go for 10 km but first 2 km I released its not going to be easy so I change my way to finish 5 km so I advise any one who would like to participate this event just try 5km and than go for 10 or 21 km coz it's really not that easy that you think over all I would like to think twice before I book a nummber for this events ”
“If anyone ever tells you that the UAE is an exclusive shopping destination in a desert, take them to Wadi Showka to see the beauty and enjoy the environment of this treasure. The race takes you through the most beautiful parts of the wadi. It's a great course for beginner trail runners and good exercise ground for more experienced ones. The race is more like a community event with passionate and dedicated lovers of the natural beauty of the UAE in charge of the organisation. Highly recommended. ”
“Great run, very challenging. Issuing of timing device at event a bit of a disaster leading to unfortunate last minute delay to start. Reception by organisers at the finish line was brilliant. Medal is one of the better ones, and useful as well!”
“Great atmosphere which was a bit dampened by the delayed start and no race pack. New events always have teething problems so happy to forgive. The course was great even though I went wrong which was entirely my own fault.
I hope it evolves into a classic annual event.
I would have liked the post race events to last a bit longer.
“Only complaint being told start delayed until 1645, going back to the car and then finding the 21 k run had gone early ( not 1645 )”
“Poorly organised at the start with a delay of 45minutes, which then got changed causing some people to miss the start of their race. Loads of people running without the additional weight of the "mandatory" gear which caused those of us that had bought it all with us to be at a disadvantage. Having only a prize for 1st place when the categories are so large is a bit unfair and the fact that results still haven't been published is incredibly poor. ”
“Genuinely felt for the organisers when they suffered a system crash throwing the bib collection into disarray and hope this did not detract too much from peoples' experience given that there was clearly a huge amount of effort gone in to preparing this event. I have to say that I think better contingency planning would have helped, although race director Lee Harris couldn't have done more to rectify the situation.
Fabulous course (which let's face it is the main part) and great after party.”
“FAILS: start of the race delayed 45mins, Race pack pick up not at the mall as told, the physio/ massage had packed up and left before race end! mandatory kit list was a waste of time as none of the crew enforced it on runners providing a disadvantage on those who Were carrying kit, staff shouting at each other in front of queues of people regards missing kit, didn't clear the finish area, my chip time still isn't published. Poor management
SUCCESS - decent medal, scenic route, good water stops.”
“I know the start/registration process was a little slow but I am sure you can be happy with the turn-out of people. I know next year will be a lot smoother.
Thank you for everyone who was out all day preparing and standing in the rain to help us enjoy the event. There was a lot of preparation which I know can go unnoticed, so thank you!!
See you again next year :)”
“This race was great. The start was a bit disorganized. The timing chip distribution was a mess. They didn't have the queue set up properly and the process could have been managed more efficiently. It took me 35 minutes to collect my chip. I think this process could have been fixed by giving chips at packet pick-up. The delayed start was unfortunate.
Other than that, it was an amazing race. Great route, volunteers and amenities. Thanks for an awesome experience. ”
“I was told to pick up my race pack from the wrong shop in Dubai mall and was redirected to North Face, I then had to queue in chaos to get my timing chip on the day. My friend did not get a race t-shirt as they didn't have his size (although you have to tell them your size when you sign up). They told us at the race start time that there is a delay of 45 mins, so we came back 40 mins later and the race had already started! Complete disorganisation! The course was beautiful however.”
“Need to look into better organization on delivering the race pack on the day to ensure smooth run”
Edited on 03.04.2016
“Better stations with fluid supplements as mentioned in the mandatory list.
Check of mandatory gear for all racers (people carrying nothing)
Start on time. Discipline. People need to come on time or just start later if they come late.
Better pre-race organisation. pick-up of timer and so on.
Faster result publication of timers.
“I just didnt understand why the race was delayed. if others werent on time, dont punish people who were there and ready on time!
the chip collection was messy. maybe think of another way (like in marathons where the chip in in the number which in in the packet!).
overall, i had fun! thanks!”
“Great location, that's about all there is to say about the race! ”
“I enjoyed the run, but communication prior was quite suspect. This "mandatory" kit that I presumed I had to purchase was a pain, and then I find out when I get to the venue, it wasn't mandatory at all. This should have been communicated so I didn't have to spend additional money, nor labor around a water pack. Also, it was useless to pick up race packs ahead of time as those that collected their race kit on the day at the venue got through the queue much quicker than those that picked up prior.”
“A challenging and fun course, but terrible sign markings. I was in the group near the front where at least 30+ of us turned right at the first stream,. This resulted in a 3km detour and a 16 minute increase in final time. Overall distance 24km. Annoying.
“List of fails:
1. Race Pack distribution- I am on of those unlucky enough that didn't get my race pack before the race as there are missing boxes of race packs. Unfortunately, didn't bring a race shirt with me as it was STRICTLY mentioned in the email that we are not allowed to wear any other shirt except for the race shirt.
2. BarBQ??? It was deceiving and annoying...it was advertised that there will be Barbq after the race...yes, there is.. a Marshmallow!!!
3. Marshalling - lot was lost”
“The entire event was great except the chaos of the chip collection and delayed starting time.”
“delayed start is not normal. Before the time it's not yet the time. After the time it's no longer the time.
too light a beacon at an intersection has lost a lot of people.
hoping it is resolved next year”
“Nice touches with the bean bags and bon-fire. Very suppprtive welcoming team at the Finish. Super toilet amd shower facilities and special recommendation for the ladies cleaning teams!
Appreciate the clean environment approach. Food great.
Locals mostly very accepting, but could be briefed more upfront - maybe when they enter earlier the day.
To improve: late start not acceptable, registration set-up, headsets mandatory for all 21km racers, marshals at confusion points next time”
“The North Face... Big trade mark, traveling from long distance and shocking with a huge unorganized event in everything... What a mes ?!!! Event with 21k , 10k & 5k with route signage that need a binoculars to see it was a really unprepared race and without marshaling !! That's was a horrible race ever. sorry to say all these words, but this what it was .”
“The start of the event was badly organised and seemed to rushed with no one knowing whats going on.
There was no vibe (music & people) at any of the check points to help encourage the runners in the race compared to other races I have attended in the past.
The race packs were very average which was a waste of money.
very good course with very scenic views outside of Dubai.
Great campsite and facilities (Tents, Food and toilets)
Overall Good event”
“Just a small comment.... The race was delayed ans announced only 2 minutes before the expected start, now what about informing th people so you can avoid warming up for nothing. Then the start was said to start at 16:45 and when got to the start at 16:35 it had already started... you should stick to your announcements!”
“Positives: fantastic Scenery, camels, river crossings (well streams really), boulders, challenging course... Enjoyed every minute of the run. Negatives: utter chaos at registration, chip collection in a separate queue, the race pack, hanging around getting cold for 2 hours, the start delayed, music too loud. Results and timing - who knows. Well done to the guy organizing it in the Blue Shirt admire your enthusiasm and drive. Would I do it again... Definitely. ”
“Amazing race! Very scenic run, very challenging, good ambiance before-during and after, lot of fun!!! Thank you to the organizers!!!”
“I ended up running 25km because we went off course for 4K due to the unclear signage ”
1) Registration Staff - Utter Chaos
2) Registration System Was Down
3) Names Were Not Segregated Alphabetically
4) Lee Harris Was All Over The Place Doing Everyone Job
5) Route Marshalling - Exceptionally Bad
6) 30 Minutes Race Start Delay
7) Crepe Sold - Over-Priced
8) Staff Shirts - Better Than Race Shirts
1) Great Experience
2) Fantastic Set Up
3) Lee Harris Was The Heart & Soul Of The Event
4) Support Stations - Excellent!
Event Can Improve A Lots!”
“Delaying the start after asking runners to be there 2 hours early is very poor. Killed the atmosphere.
Also, having a collected the race pack to then have to requeue for a running chip - which was totally disorganised - made the race collection largely pointless.
Not value for money.”
Edited on 02.04.2016
“Collection of race pack/timing chip on race day was a bit messy.
Next time maybe include option for people to use their own timing chip.
Make differences in medals for various distances”
“Only negative thing was confusion/ miscommunication about the collection of the race pack between Sunand Sand and Northface at Dubai Mall.
Fantastic venue, great directions to location and good entertainment after the race.”
“The location was very good but race wasn't organized well. There were delays to collect race pack due to system crash.”
“Great location, but would to have liked to had some kind of loop to avoid having to weave through other runners once turning around.
Would like to have had small water cups verse having to stop to fill up water bottle.
The music was too loud. ”
“Race pack collection very poor. The staff was not prepared, long queues.
This was the reason the start got delayed and the 21k runners arrived back in darkness.
“At 4pm an announcement was made that the race would start 45 mins later than scheduled-many competitors headed back to our cars. At 4.30 as we made our way back to the start we heard a gun go off and the race started before we could get there-just one example of the shocking organization we experienced. The race chip collection was utterly chaotic (why on earth weren't they included in the pre-race packs?) and the race pack itself was dismal especially considering the extortionate 280aed entry!”
“Overall it was a good event but it needed more organization and more food variety ”
“Run start was delayed due to race pack & chip collection chaos. Would have been better if chips were distributed at same time as race packs. Tshirt & medal are good. ”