School children joined the cross country charity run on Sunday in Dubai. Image Credit: Courtesy: 7EmiratesRun

Abu Dhabi: Schoolchildren ran alongside fundraisers in a cross-country charity run passing Dubai on Sunday.

They joined the runners on their approach to the Bab Al Shams desert getaway. 

The 7EmiratesRun had by Sunday covered around 140km of the 575-km route taking teams of runners through all seven UAE emirates.

By the end of Monday’s leg, they were expected to cover another 46km.

The 12-day run started on Friday in Abu Dhabi and is scheduled on end in Dubai on UAE National Day – December 2.

The runners have aimed to raise at least Dh777,777 for Al Jalila Foundation’s A’awen fund that helps patients in the UAE who cannot afford medical treatment.

The event is also held in honour of the 43rd UAE National Day. It is held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.

Dr Abdul Kareem Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Last year, we were able to get Mohammed Ayoub, a toddler from Sharjah who suffered from deformities in both legs, back on his feet. This year we have bigger ambitions, and we hope to be able to extend that support to many more children in the UAE.”

Race director Wendelin Lauxen, a German expatriate who is the Guinness World Record holder of the fastest time to complete a marathon in each of the seven continents, said there were “emotional moments” at the start on Friday.

Lauxen founded the run in 2010 as a solo endeavour. In 2013, six runners joined him and now the run is a public event.

“I’m very proud my vision to establish [the run] has become a reality. Run for help, run for health, run for fun.”

He thanked volunteers supporting runners with water and expressed joy at seeing the children join the runners on Sunday for a stretch of the way.