I did two sets of training for the half (one 12 weeks and the other about 18 weeks). I'm not a natural runner. I love it, but I'm not naturally fast. Or even quick. Or even... medium. I'm a good runner, but if I wanted to finish the event with a reasonable time, all those weeks of training were necessary. And they paid off! I came in under my goal (which was just to be under 2:30).
The next morning we had to catch the race bus to RAK (a different city) so we got up at 3, caught a taxi and were ready for the bus at 4:30am since our packets said they'd leave right on time no matter what. The bus arrived at about 4:25 and didn't leave toward RAK until about 4:50. I like to have a lot of time before the start of the event, so I wasn't stoked. But I was too tired to rally, so I went to sleep on the bus. We got to the RAK half at about 6:25 (only 35 minutes before the run was to start). The line for the bathroom was intense. But, since most of the ladies were unwilling to use a squatter (the UAE must really be a different world), I got to jump the line a bit.
We check our bags, made it to the start, found our friends and about 2 minutes later the elites headed out. It was crazy to hear the announcer talking about the runners when we hadn't even started yet. About 2400 people ran, so it was a crawl to the start line. But the weather was gorgeous (about 62 degrees F and breezy with just enough humidity) and made for an absolutely fantastic run. I was so excited when I came to the last kilometer and saw on the official clock that I was going to make it under my goal.
Then Ian finished and I made him take a selfie with me :