You may remember not too long ago that Mr and soon-to-be Mrs Tromans embarked on the gruelling Wadi Bih as part of a team set up by sporting powerhouse, Nike: Bec a member of the five-strong team furiously burning the lactic acid on the tortuous climbs; and Phil the encouraging voice ensconced comfortably at the wheel of the team’s Nissan Patrol support vehicle.
Together they covered a staggering distance of 72km in mid-20 degree temperatures across desolate plains and up ridiculously steep rocky inclines, the mere thought of which makes me need a lie down. Still, the perennial child in me couldn’t help but tease Phil when he got back to crankandpiston GHQ about his comparatively relaxed role during the event. And, naturally, it wasn’t too long before fate played a dastardly hand at my expense.
By ‘fate’, I’m referring to the good people at Nissan Middle East, who wondered if I’d be interested in taking part in Xplore UAE IV – a day-long endurance event stretching from one side of the Fujairah mountains and wadis to the other – in a Nissan Armada LE. It was time to prove my own mettle, and I quickly said yes.
And so it is that at 8.30am two mornings later, I’m meeting up with my fellow Xplore UAE participants at the Fujairah Tennis Club for registration and several strong coffees. Before throwing us into the great wild yonder, the organisers give us our safety instructions: be sure to stay in a group, stay on the marked route, stick to the low gears, and – this one is repeated – don’t crash. Briefing over and gleaming Armada stickered up, my convoy is soon underway.