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Four Dubai-based women to run 7 marathons

Marathon to raise funds for education of slum children in Bangladesh

Gulf News

Dubai: Four Dubai-based women will run not in just one but seven marathons across seven continents in seven days in a feat often called the 777 Challenge to raise funds to support education of slum children in Bangladesh.

Starting off in Antarctica on November 26, the team composed of Rosa Areosa, Sharon De Souza and her 15-year-old daughter, Kristen, and Maria Conceicao will test their resolve in completing seven marathons across all continents. The challenge will end in Abu Dhabi on December 2, to commemorate the UAE’s 42nd National Day.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Maria Cristina Foundation (MCF), a non-profit organisation that provides quality education and job opportunities to underprivileged communities in Bangladesh.

Often an ultimate test for extreme athletes, the 777 Challenge will see the team — composed of mothers and a teenager — push themselves to the limit to complete the herculean task.

“Usually professional athletes pursue challenges like this, however this is the first time that a team of mothers from the UAE will be tackling this physically and emotionally draining challenge. We are also very excited to make history by having the youngest person in the world complete seven marathons across the seven continents in seven days,” Conceicao, MCF founder, said.

Conceicao and Areosa are not new to the world of extreme physical challenges to raise funds for charity. Both participated in the 777 challenge across the seven emirates of the UAE in seven days in 2011.

“We are very privileged to have two more extraordinary women join both Maria and myself in our quest to battle poverty. Participating together as a unit will certainly raise more awareness for our cause to educate impoverished Bangladeshi children and give them hope to live better lives in the future,” Areosa, 48, a mother of two, said.

Conceicao’s charitable works including putting slum children in school, providing livelihood opportunities to their parents, and helping them get better lives which have inspired the mother-daughter team of Sharon and Kristen De Souza to join the cause.