Sport

Inside Dubai's National Day Camel Marathon

Kate Springer

Updated 0146 GMT (0946 HKT) December 13, 2016
Share
fazza championships camel races fazza championships camel races
1 of 17
At the second annual National Day Camel Marathon, 100 participants raced to the finish line. AFRA
The marathon stretches 15 miles (25km) across the desert -- making it the longest camel race in the United Arab Emirates. AFRA
This year's winner was Salem Al Hammadi, aged 23 years old. AFRA
The last leg of the race was tight, with 10 riders vying for the gold. AFRA
The challenging race lasts more than 90 minutes for most competitors. Al Hammadi finished in 1 hour, 8 minutes. AFRA
Winner Al Hammadi was sporting a No.15 jersey. AFRA
Most competitors had trained for several months to build their endurance and speed. AFRA
Spectators and trainers drove alongside the race in 4x4s and off-road vehicles to cheer the competitors. AFRA
The marathon was part of the National Day celebrations, which showcased traditional Emerati sports, including falconry and hunting. AFRA
Camels have long been integral to culture in the Middle East. They are traditionally bred for milk or used as caravans to cart goods across the desert. AFRA
Camels are surprisingly fast runners, able to reach speeds of up to 18 miles per hour (30 km/h). AFRA
Camel racing dates back to the 7th century, and is one of the oldest still-practiced traditions in the Middle East. AFRA
The practice of camel racing has changed over time. In modern times, it's more common to see robot jockeys, rather than human riders. AFRA
Every competitor has their own style of racing, such as sitting, standing or squatting on the camel. AFRA
Winner Al Hammadi, who has been riding since age 8, says his connection with his camel is the key to his success. AFRA
Al Hammadi celebrates his win. The 23-year-old beat roughly 100 competitors to take the 2016 marathon title. AFRA
The winner of this year's National Day Camel Marathon took home a luxury car. AFRA