Dubai: Some 64 runners will be donning angel wings Friday to raise funds by running in the RAK half marathon.
The fitness enthusiasts are taking part to raise the money for the Angel Appeal, which supports the Flying Angel — a charitable organisation that caters to seafarers' needs.
Last year, 47 runners raised Dh125,000 between them and Fujairah company Vopak Horizon raised a huge Dh64,000 between their eight runners.
"What the Angel Appeal does is ask each of the runners we register to raise a minimum of Dh1,000 but everyone involved managed to raise much, much more than this. We even had a couple people who hadn't registered with us but who saw us running on the day and decided to raise money for us after the event," Alexi Trenouth, Events and CSR Manager for the Angel Appeal told Gulf News.
This year, the Appeal is hoping to raise a minimum of Dh64,000, "but we are hoping for much more," Trenouth said.
Funds go towards the operating costs of the Flying Angel, which is the first seafarers support vessel of its kind, bringing much-needed support and communication facilities to the thousands of seafarers who anchor off the East coast of the UAE every year.
Fujairah is the second biggest anchorage in the world and at any one time there might be between 150 and 200 vessels in the waters, "some of which have crews who have been away from their families and loved ones for over 10 months and are without the basic communication facilities we take for granted on land," Trenouth said.
Seafarers bring more than 99 per cent of goods to the UAE, but, she continued, "Seafarers are invisible to most people here". Events like the Rak half marathon, she said, help a great deal with raising awareness. Runners this year are taking part from: Vopak Horizon, Dubai Chamber of Commerce; Al Futtaim; DNV; Gulf Finance; and Pure Fitness.
The best-dressed runner also wins a prize for the best angel wings.
- The Flying Angel costs around $750 (Dh2,754) a day to run.
- For more information, log on to: www.angelappeal.com
Will you be taking part in this years marathon? What more can be done to spread awareness and help seafarers? Tell us by posting a comment below.