Run day Monday: MSQ 10km beach loop

MSQ, Shatti, Al Khuwair: 10km loop

Map route courtesy of

Map courtesy of Route 564360.

This is a great route I started over the summer before my knees started playing up again. I’m currently doing little-and-often and hoping to build back both the stamina and pace I’ve lost over the past year.

Starting at a handy parking spot on the service road for Madinat Sultan Qaboos st, head over the highway into the shade lanes of MSQ where the first three kilometres take in the quiet back streets and rolling hills leading down to the busy Sultan Qaboos highway. Where the route hits the highway, there is a pedestrian roadbridge which crosses to the relatively busy shopping and restaurants area of Shatti. Cross the bridge, run through the car park it deposits you in, and turn right at the road. Then at the lights turn left and go straight over the nearby roundabout in order to head to the beach.

The beach affords you a kilometre and a half of beautiful, flat, easy running either along the sand or the pedestrian footpath. It’s gorgeous in the afternoon as the sun sinks directly ahead of you, turning pink as it descends into the sea on the horizon.

Turning back to the road at the far end don’t be disturbed by the police presence. You’re taking a right into Embassy land, where one Embassy after another lines the quiet, tree-lined road. You can stay on the road all the way to the next left turn, but this will add some distance to your run. Instead, you can head left across some wasteland to the left and up into the Ministries district of Al Khuwair. It’s not a road as such, but you can easily follow the trails and it’s good relief from pounding the concrete.

You will join Thaqafah st. just before it reaches the large roundabout opposite Red Tag and the City Seasons hotel. This is the point to swing left and head back to the start. Following Thaqafah st. will keep you on quieter, shadier back streets for longer and cut out any twisty negotiation where the road reaches the MQ overpass. Turn right to go under the junction and back up Madinat As Sultan Qaboos st. The 10km marker is about 200m beyond the Dohat Al Adab st. junction. Cross the junction and after about 100m, bear right on to the service road.

To hit 10km and get a cool-down jog (or walk) in, you can stop running just past the side entrance to the Jalmoud complex. Or, to finish on a literal high (and be closer to your vehicle) challenge yourself to power up the incline to the lights at the MSQ junction and then walk out the final half kilometre. There’s a patch of greenery just past the parking area where you can have a stretch under the palm trees or just chill out on a bench as local families come out to feed the local bin-cats and enjoy the evening air.

For a treat (food-based, of course) stroll further along the road and just past the mosque and you’ll find Layali Esfahan, a truly fabulous Iranian eatery. Get stuck in to some kebabs and moutabel to aid a speedy recovery from your run!



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nikki
    Oct 18, 2016 @ 22:11:49

    Girl. All that running no wonder the knees are buggered. I think you should do a book. Pounding the streets.



    • Pieces of 8
      Oct 21, 2016 @ 12:24:19

      It certainly makes a difference to pounding the ol’ streets of Trafford! Although I always enjoyed a trot around Chorlton park and your neck of the woods. Softer grass = happier knees, it’s true.



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