British Formula 1 star Jenson Button ran 35km at the Dubai Autodrome on Tuesday, as part of the lead-up ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Instead of donning his flame-proof overalls he slipped into his running shoes to tackle the challenges of the race circuit on foot.
Button’s run was also part of a training program ahead of his first full marathon which he is planning to join in Hawaii, early December.
The Englishman who lies sixth in the world championship standings, with two grand prix wins this season so far, explained the rationale behind his training, “It's good to do training in hot conditions, which is perfect for this weekend's race in Abu Dhabi. It's also good for my weight. It keeps it down. If I run I lose so much weight, which I need because you're limited on weight when you are a tall driver. And have you seen marathon runners? They're quite skinny.”
As for his marathon ambitions Button said before setting out on his run, “It’s a challenge. I don’t want to make predictions regarding what time I am targeting. For now, my first full marathon, the challenge is to finish. I'm not going to set a quick time because it's a tough hilly course.”
Button said he hit a “wall” at around 30 km, which also happened to be the start of a hill. “I started to feel the pain, but got through it.”
Over the years Dubai Autodrome has evolved from a preferred venue not only for motor and track racing, but also a popular training arena with regular sessions, on Wednesday evenings, for runners, cyclists and skaters with several 5km and 10km running races on the annual calendar, along with cycling races.