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Ruqaya Al Marzooqi secured second place in the five km race at this year’s Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon in January. Image Credit:

Dubai: Ruqaya Al Marzooqi, one of the UAE’s top roadrunners, has set a personal goal of bettering her own time when she embarks on this weekend’s Pocari Sweat 10K Run to be held on Friday (July 3).

The PocariSweat 10K Run is being presented by Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and is scheduled to take place on from 12.01 am to 11.59 pm (Dubai time), on Friday. The event is open to participants of any age and ability from around the world.

Participants are free to choose between a 5 km and 10 km run and are allowed to create their own unique fun course, making use of the indoor or outdoor space. They can even run on a smart or traditional treadmill.

Al Marzooqi, who has won many a race since taking up to long distance road running some seven years ago, now wants to use this event to better her own personal best time in the 5 km.

Today, I doubt anyone is in a position to stop me from following this passion. And all I think of is how I can get better with each passing day. Road running means everything to me

- Ruqaya Al Marzooqi, Emirati road runner

“After several months of no action, I feel it is better to start small. So, I’ve decided to do the 5 km, and with this aim in mind I have been training for this distance since the past few weeks now. I won’t be surprised if I do set my personal best in the 5 km this Friday,” Al Marzooqi told Gulf News from her residence in Ras Al Khaimah.

“My current best in the five kms is under 23 minutes and the big goal this Friday will be to lower this mark and perhaps go below the 22-minute mark, so that I can turn on to my other immediate goals,” she added.

A fresh graduate in Civil Engineering, Al Marzooqi began road running in her native Ras Al Khaimah, and that too, on insistence from a friend who promised to accompany her each day. “When I look back now, the thing that strikes me was that this running part was going to be tough. But as the days and weeks went by, I sort of started enjoying it all,” Al Marzooqi recounted.

“Today, I doubt anyone is in a position to stop me from following this passion. And all I think of is how I can get better with each passing day. Road running means everything to me,” she added.

Al Marzooqi has been a regular at various road races held in the UAE with her latest conquests being a second place in the five km race at this year’s Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon held in the last week of January and the top prize over the same distance at the RAK Half Marathon in February.

After this weekend’s race, Al Marzooqi has decided she wants to switch to bigger distances on the road. “Once this race is over I want to concentrate on the 10 km and make it my speciality,” she related.

“Ever since I’ve started road running, my priority has been to challenge myself each day. I feel my competition is with myself first and I seek to set the standards and limits for myself first,” Al Marzooqi added.

This Friday’s run will have prizes for the top three finishers in each of the five categories – 5 km for male and female, the 10 km for male and female and the 5 km for People of Determination.