Sheikh Hamdan Leads First Dubai Run On Sheikh Zayed Road

Residents and visitors of all ages and abilities numbering 70,000 came together to make history.

Dubai witnessed a spectacular display of community, solidarity and enthusiasm on Friday as 70,000 residents and visitors of all ages and abilities came together to make history and take part in the inaugural Dubai Run.

As the city’s arterial highway Sheikh Zayed Road transformed, for the very first time into a thumping race track for Dubai Fitness Challenge 2019, residents of all ages, families, and people of determination ran across a segment of the highway.

Runners were led by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, and the event featured two courses to ensure it is highly inclusive – a 5km and a 10km route.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “Today marks a milestone in our mission to make Dubai the most active city in the world – together as one society. I commend the enthusiasm and energy of our people and I am proud of how the people of Dubai – across ages, nationalities and abilities – have come together to create such an inspiring event.”

He added: “Congratulations to all those who accepted the challenge. I am confident that this will encourage you even more to join over the coming days and make the DFC 2019 our most successful edition yet.”

Winners in the men’s section are Samir Jouaher (first), Anouar El Ghouz (second) and Mohammed Mira (third). For the women’s race, Refref Mohammed finished first, followed by Fanos Tekle and Joyce Balle Baako. First place winner Samir Jouaher told Khaleej Times: “I am very happy to win the race. It was excellently organised and thank you, Dubai.”

Fitness party on the streets

Participants began finding their way to Dubai World Trade Centre as early as 4am.

Starting from the Dubai World Trade Centre, both the 5k and 10k routes saw a diverse group of runners taking to the streets surrounding some of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks including the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Opera, The Dubai Mall and Emirates Towers.

A few early birds were seen collecting their racing bibs as early as 4.15am. As Dubai Metro started its services as early as 4.30am, by 5.30am, the DWTC Metro Station and venue were completely packed. Participants were seen stretching and performing warm-up exercises before finding their way to the race track.

Jyotsna Kanjhan, a Dubai resident, said: “It was a very exciting experience for most of us. I considered running on the Sheikh Zayed Road a rare opportunity. Despite the massive turn out, the race was well organised.”

Several thousand people took advantage of the opportunity and were seen capturing memories by taking selfies and group photos.

The 10km race kicked off at 6.30am, followed by the 5km race at 6.45am. The 10km race was limited to runners over the age of 18. However, the 5km race was open to people of all ages, and thousands of children were seen running with their families as lively music thumped in the background.


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