x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Dubai ice warriors raise cash for people with special needs

The Ice Warrior Challenge IV was the biggest yet, with 255 people taking part at Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates on Friday.

DUBAI // A gruelling endurance race that has competitors race up a ski slope and over an assault course has helped to raise money for a good cause.

The Ice Warrior Challenge IV was the biggest yet, with 255 people taking part at Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates on Friday morning.

The sub-zero conditions were to the liking of Norwegian duo Inger Larsen and Hallvard Borsheim, who claimed the women’s and men’s titles, respectively.

“I hadn’t done anything special to prepare so I’m delighted to have won,” said Ms Larsen, a nutritionist and personal trainer, whose time was 12 minutes and 31 seconds.

“I was feeling the pressure a little because everyone was saying, ‘you’re Scandinavian, so you should be used to the cold’.”

For Mr Borsheim, who won the competition last year, there was the added incentive of defending his title.

“It was a difficult course because they changed it around from last year,” he said. “I really enjoyed taking part though and I’ll definitely come back next year.”

His time was 9 minutes and 52 seconds.

“There was a section where you have to go through some water but I lost my footing and fell into the water and it was freezing,” said Mr Borsheim, an air-traffic controller.

“But despite that, it was a lot of fun and I’ll be back next year.”

Last year, those taking part had to race up a flight of stairs but this time organisers altered the course to provide more obstacles.

Organisers said Ice Warrior attracted more people to the event this year compared to the 175 who took part in 2012.

“We also decided to change it a little this time and make it a bit tougher,” said Omar El Banna, marketing and sales director for Majid Al Futtaim, which operates Ski Dubai.

“It’s been a very vibrant event, with a lot of energy and a great atmosphere.

“It’s getting bigger each year and we are already planning what to do for next year.”

The money raised through entry fees and sponsorship will be donated to Dubai Centre for Special Needs.

Competitors were sent out in groups of five and the challenge began inside Ski Dubai. Among the obstacles they had to negotiate were cargo nets, monkey bars and a slide down the slope in a sled.

nhanif@thenational.ae