Dubai: The organiser and founder of the innovative ‘Marathon at Home’ has promised to launch yet another similar virtual competition for running enthusiasts in the near future.
Fuad Nasser, who launched the novel 5:30 Run club with plans to now expand to Lebanon and Ireland, has agreed that the huge response and success of last Friday’s inaugural ‘Marathon at Home’ has only made him hungry for more similar challenges in the future.
Organised by Dubai Sports Council (DSC) in coordination with Asics Middle East and 5:30 Run club, the first-ever such event held last Friday attracted a field of nearly 750 participants representing 62 nationalities from around the world.
Runners were supposed to run the entire 42.195km of the marathon within their homes without venturing out in the open or even using a treadmill.
Both winners are from Iran with 34-year-old Mona Sharbaf Tabriz taking the women’s crown in a time of 3:59 hours, while 40-year-old countryman Morteza Naseri won the men’s title category with a time of 3:24 hours in the confines of their homes.
“I was expecting this event to be successful, simply because I had gauged the need of the community and the world at large,” Nasser told Gulf News.
“We have made a start with the ‘Marathon at Home’ and that was a huge success. I am now confident that the next one will be even more successful as those who doubted us will no longer do so now. For the time-being, we are in the process of planning the next challenge, and we will announce the details when we are ready,” he promised.
Nasser established the 5:30 Run club with the sole aim of getting enthusiasts starting their training at that early hour. However, one of the challenges he faced was assembling participants from across the UAE, including Abu Dhabi and Ajman, and starting off the runs at an unearthly hour of 5.30am.
Members meet twice a week in the mornings, and one day a week, if needed, in the evenings. Besides running, the members also get access to yoga sessions free of cost.
“We have managed to overcome several challenges since taking off as a serious running and fitness club. The challenges, in fact, only made us stronger and encouraged us to continue dreaming big. People were sceptical whether we would be able to sustain our concept and the club in the first place. This was way before the coronavirus struck,” Nasser recalled.
“And when the world did stop, we had to take our innovation a step higher. That is how we came up with the concept of a ‘Marathon at Home’. The next idea will be made public shortly,” he added.