Left: Morteza Naseri and Mona Sharbaf Tabriz with her husband Amin. They emerged as winners of the men and women's category of Dubai Sports Council-organised Home Marathon last Friday. Image Credit: Dubai Sports Council

Dubai: Both winners of the inaugural ‘Marathon at Home’ have hailed the triumph of human spirit after finishing at the top of the race held last Friday.

Organised by Dubai Sports Council (DSC) in coordination, with Asics Middle East and 5:30 Run club, the 750-odd participants were supposed to run the entire 42.195km of the marathon within their homes.

Mona Sharbaf Tabriz and Morteza Naseri, both from Iran, were declared winners in the women’s and men’s categories, respectively. The 34-year-old Tabriz was fastest among participating women with a time of 3 hours and 59 minutes, while Ireland’s Gillian Clarke, a resident of Dubai came second in a time of 4:15 hours. Russia’s Irina Bakunovich clocked a time of 4:37 hours to finish third.

“The human mind has no limits and if you set your mind on something, then you will always find a way to achieve it,” Tabriz told Gulf News from her home in Iran, where she lives with her husband Amin.

“When I learnt about this event, the biggest challenge for me was how my mind would work running around on a set course inside a room. At the end, I really enjoyed the experience as I was left with a sincere connection with that 10 metres area that I had run in,” she added.

“It’s a wonderful initiative from the Dubai Sports Council, 5:30 Run and Asics, and it came at the right time when we all needed some distraction and a reason to stay closer and connected. My husband was a great source of inspiration for standing by my side in fulfilling this challenge,” Tabriz said.

In the men’s category, Naseri clocked 3:24 hours, followed by Dubai-based Italian Valerio Sciamannetti (3:26), while Abas Kavousi also from Iran came in third best with a time of 3:31 hours.

“We have all won as we are stronger together. The thought about winning the race is good, but what is even more important is that I can be a role model to many of my friends here and of course, to all other participants who ran along with me on Friday,” Naseri told Gulf News from Iran.

A manager at a construction company, the 40-year-old Naseri took up exercising at home after he was forced to stay back due to the lockdown since the first week of March. “As a pioneer, I have a responsibility to motivate younger people and be a true role model for them. And besides, I had to prove to everyone that I can stay at home and be fit, positive and strong at the same time,” added the father of one.

A shattered Morteza after completing his Marathon at Home
A shattered Morteza after completing his Marathon at Home Image Credit: Supplied

Naseri, who had been to Dubai before to participate in the Dubai Marathon held on the last Friday of January each year, said: “The timing of running inside the house is really not important. What is far more important is to show others a way to stay fit and strong,” Naseri observed.

The top-10, meanwhile, will receive 10 EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) functional training sessions from Vertexfitness, while every finisher will receive a certificate from Asics ME and 5:30 Run, an Asics T-shirt and a finisher medal.

More than 750 runners representing 62 different nationalities took part in the unique ‘Marathon at Home,’ organised under the umbrella of DSC’s ‘Be Fit, Be Safe’ and #stayhome campaigns.


(Men) 1. Morteza Naseri 3:24 Iran (living in Iran); 2. Valerio Sciamannetti 3:26 Italy (living in Dubai); 3. Abbas Kavousi 3:31 Iran (living in Iran).

(Women) 1. Mona Sharbaf Tabriz 3:59 Iran (living in Iran); 2. Gillian Clarke 4:15 Ireland (living in Dubai); 3. Irina Bakunovich 4:37 Russia (living in Dubai).