Dubai: A friendship that began 18 years ago between an expat couple and a single woman has led to a cycling challenge to carry on the woman's legacy, seven months after she succumbed to cancer.

When rugby enthusiast Kim Massouras arrived in Dubai 23 years ago, no one could have guessed that she would befriend Rachel and Julian, a couple who two decades after their friendship, began carrying out treks and marathons to raise money to keep Kim's dream alive. Kim's Cycling Challenge, a seven-day trek around the UAE, kicks off in Dibba on January 21 and finishes at Bab Al Shams on January 27. With 15 participants, the trek aims to raise money to support two of Kim's greatest passions: children and animals.

Julian Pritchard, one of Kim's closest friends, says, "Kim was a giver. She never lost an opportunity to do something for someone. When she first came to Dubai, she founded the Christina Noble Children's Founda-tion (CNCF) — a charity that's part of the social calendar in Rugby 7s. Her other passion was cats and she spent hours at Feline Friends." The money collected would go to CNFC, which is looking at opening a school/orphanage in Vietnam, and to Feline Friends. Kim's Challenge would also be represented at the Standard Chartered Marathon on January 21. To get involved, sign up under ‘Kim's Challenge' and call 04-445 6842.