Georges El Hoyek: After the last “disappointment”, I had to cross a finish line as soon as possible.

Georges & Mark during Dubai Marathon 2014.

Georges & Mark during Dubai Marathon 2014.

Georges El Hoyek is one of the most energetic and active runners, rarely misses a running opportunity. He believes that “Everyone can run everywhere, just if they have the will”.

Unfortunately, he was not able to finish the Beirut Marathon 2013 due to severe cramps at the 37 km but this accident gave him strength and the will to perform better.  In responding to our questions, Georges says that Dubai Marathon is a start for a new chapter regarding better performance and better results. Kudos to George who was generous to allocate time to share his story.

1 – How long have you been running, why have you started and what changes running brought to your life?

I’ve been running seriously for the past 4 years. Before that I used to jog from time to time, but was more into swimming and other less competitive sports.

2 – What is the difference between Dubai Marathon & Beirut Marathon?

Dubai Marathon is a little bit boring I would say. It’s a straight back and forth line that stretches over more than 35 km! but it’s a very well organized marathon. The atmosphere, the cheering and the route of the Beirut marathon are definitely better. The finish line at the Beirut Marathon is much better. That red carpet makes a big difference after running 42km! makes you feel like a real hero! None of that in the Dubai marathon

3 – What was your main purpose of running the Dubai Marathon, did the “disappointment” of the last “Beirut Marathon” play any role?

Absolutely. Because of the injury that prevented me from finishing my Beirut Marathon, I had to cross a finish line as soon as possible. Dubai Marathon was right on time for that.

4 – Talking about your injury in the last Beirut Marathon, what are the “Positive things” that you learnt from this experience?

I trained a lot for the Beirut marathon and wanted to do a new personal best by going below 4 hours. I was over confident, I went too fast in the first 20km and hit the wall at 33km, then had sever cramps at km37 which prevented me from walking. I have learned a lot from that experience. First, is to remain humble. No matter how good you did during the training, a marathon is still a marathon and requires a strategy. Second lesson is to never give up and always rise after a fall.

5 – What is/are your target(s) for 2014, what marathon(s) are you willing to run this year?

I think I will be taking it easy this year. I will just run the 2014 Beirut Marathon in November. I’m targeting a 3:45.

6 – What are the Marathons that you would like to run in the future, do you think you may run a desert race for example?

I would really like to run the Berlin and Hamburg Marathons. London also. My dream is to do a desert race but I’m not sure if I’m ready now for that type of challenge. Maybe in a couple of years.

7 – You have ran in France, USA, Dubai, and other countries, In your opinion, what are the differences and what do you think we need  to improve running in Lebanon, and Do you think we have a “running culture”?

We seriously need to have running routes and parks in Lebanon where we can run and train. I think the running culture is growing in Lebanon and the sports clubs should specifically lobby for this.

8 – Will you encourage your children to run or you would prefer that they practice other type of sports?

I will definitely encourage them to run! Nothing sets a human being free, both physically and mentally, like running. Running is a medicine. It is the ultimate sport.

9 – Would you like to train, coach or lead a running team in the future?

Not really. I don’t think I qualify for that. Plus, I want to keep running enjoyable. More of a hobby.

10 – Being a lawyer, you give “Legal advice”, being a runner what “Sport advice” you would give to other runners?

Always warm-up, always cool down and always stretch. Don’t forget to exercise your core, it’s your running spare battery. And most importantly, always do your injury-prevention exercises. Do this and you will keep running until you’re old!