Abu Dhabi: Ultra marathon runner Wendelin Lauxen completed his gruelling 573.5km run across all seven emirates on Monday after 12 days (81 hours 53 minutes) of hardship. The run saw him raise funds for the life-changing surgery of a 17-year-old Palestinian boy born with a musculoskeletal deformity.
The 49-year-old from Aschenburg, Germany, was reunited with family and supporters at the finish line near Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi having first left the boulevard beneath Emirates Towers, Dubai, on December 23.
He ran on average 6.47 hours, 47.8km a day living off just five litres of water with Nutella and Banana on Arabic bread for breakfast. Sleeping in hostels, cars and desert huts he lost six kilograms and met people from all walks of life.
"I've learnt so much about this wonderful country along the way, I've run past sky-scrapers, beaches, wadis, mountains and desert dunes and have learnt so much from the people in between them," said an emotional Lauxen.
His route took him from Dubai up towards Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah then down towards Khatt Springs, Masafi into Fujairah and Kalba before the long cross-country trek to Abu Dhabi.
Lauxen, a former nurse and now founder of his own health care company, has so far raised around Dh17,000 but needs Dh50,000 in order to schedule Diya Al Aster's corrective knee surgery, which is pencilled in for April with surgeon Dr Marc Sinclair.
Diya's deformed right leg which is 40cm shorter than the other must be strengthened in order to make way for a prosthetic limb. Lauxen chose Diya, through learning about him through The Little Wings Foundation and The Palestinian Children's Relief Fund — his case was one of the most severe and advanced in terms of age.
Having previously run marathons in all seven continents with runs in New York, Frankfurt, Dubai, Cape Town, Buenos Aires, Sydney and Antarctica within six years, Lauxen is gunning for the world record of completing the same within 29 days in 2012 — but first he wants to make the seven emirates run an annual open event held on UAE National Day, December 2, in order to help more children like Diya.
To make a donation visit www.7emiratesrun.com