Going for green

Ujala Ali Khan zigzags her way through the Detour City Hunt and survives to give details of Dubai’s first eco-conscious race

Imthishan Giado, standing, and Ujala Ali Khan navigate the wheelbarrow challenge at the Detour City Hunt. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
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More than 250 people showed up for Dubai’s first eco-friendly, outdoor treasure hunt on Friday. Organised by Detour Events under the patronage of the Dubai Sports Council, the Detour City Hunt had participants racing around for the grand prize of Dh10,000.

The start

My teammate and I showed up at BurJuman Centre, the starting point, at 1pm. We’re given T-shirts with numbers and explained the rules: teams start out with a clue card containing an anagram and a hint to their next destination, which they must reach by public transport, and once there, must complete a physical challenging to score points. Teams then get a clue card for the next destination. After the final stop, teams must get back to the finish line, with printouts of their Nol card history to prove they used public transport all the way.

Clue 1

An authentic place to buy fresh seafood in Dubai rides on the metro, bus and water taxi took us to Deira Fish Market. Our task? One person sits in a wheelbarrow, another pushes it from one box to the next while the seated person picks up coconuts from one box and deposits them into the next one without dropping any or touching the ground. Full marks.

Clue 2

Make the world a fitter place we raced back to the starting point and had to plank for 100 seconds. For people who’d never planked, 100 seconds seemed like a lifetime. But we held our own. Full marks again.

Clue 3

From which park can you watch the sunset behind Emirates Towers a metro ride and jog (about 5km) took us to Zabeel Park to the beginning of our undoing. Cycling around an obstacle course is not for 30-somethings who haven’t been on two wheels for decades. Big fat zero.

Clue 4

Football everywhere we raced through The Dubai Mall to kick a football at 10 targets five feet away. If you think that’s impossible to mess up, you’re wrong. Eight and a half out of 20.

Clue 5

Hundred per cent grass-fed, 100 per cent free-range, 100 per cent organic the next bus ride put us in front of a dart board. We found out we were no better at throwing darts. Five out of 20.

The finish

We had to head to Al Nasr Club, the finish line. We swiped our Nol cards and discovered we had no credit left. We were told we wouldn’t need cash and didn’t carry any. The cards were loaded with Dh14 – the daily cap RTA allows for public transport. We begged other metro-goers for money and thanks to an elderly gentleman who gave us Dh10, we made it to the finish line. We scored 153 out of 200 – nowhere near the top. First place went to the cousins Murtazza and Moiz Bakirali from India, who took home a cool Dh10,000 in cash.


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