Marathon at Home
Marathon at Home Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Fancy running a marathon — the full 42,195km distance — in these times of COVID-19? Then get your running shoes out and mark April 10 on your calendar.

Dubai Sports Council (DSC), in collaboration with Asics Middle East and 5:30 Run club, have come up with an exciting new initiative, the Marathon at Home, which will take place under the umbrella of DSC’s ‘Be Fit, Be Safe’ and #stayhome campaigns. The latest initiative is designed to keep members of UAE’s community in running shape inside their home.

The first such race of its kind in the world, Marathon at Home will be a timed 42.195km race open to people of all ages and abilities, and will take place on Friday between 8am and 6pm UAE time, with a 10-hour time cap.

Participants can decide on the shape of their running course, but running on a treadmill or any other training equipment will not be accepted. Running in public areas is also not allowed — the participant will need to physically run on ground, and inside their house.

The participants will also have to make sure they have a fully charged smartwatch or smartphone, with the Strava app installed and activated. They will have to join the ‘Marathon at Home’ group on Strava and stay connected as the app will detect their movement and will assist in keeping track of their timing and distance travelled.

Registration for the Marathon at Home is open till April 6, through the website, but race entry is non-transferable between individuals and relays are not allowed.

There are plenty of prizes on offer for top finishers with all the participants receiving a finisher certificate from Asics ME and 5:30 Run, while all finishers will receive an Asics T-shirt and a finisher medal. The top three finishers in men and women categories will get a full running gear kit by Asics, an entry ticket to the Moscow Marathon (scheduled for September) and a finisher medal. The top-10 finishers, meanwhile, will receive ten EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) functional training sessions from Vertexfitness.

“It was our responsibility to support the government and country in promoting #StayHome in order to #StaySafe. These challenging situations inspired us to think out of the box and give our community a way to achieve and maintain an active lifestyle, while still #StayingHome. So we came up with the idea of organising a ‘Marathon at Home’. The main goal of this event is to show that impossible is not in our dictionary and that you can still train for a marathon at home,” Fuad Naser, Founder of 5:30 Run club, noted.

“We are delighted to be able to support such a grassroots initiative like the Marathon at Home — a great example of the resilience and passion of the runners in our community. Despite the circumstances, it is simply amazing to watch the running community in Dubai coming together and supporting each other,” Ana Elisa Seixas, Marketing Manager Asics, AME, added.