Dubai: Dubai athlete Marcus Smith has successfully completed an epic 24-hour run of 206.9km to launch the new athletics track at Sports Village, Dubai Sports City.
Smith received huge support from the Dubai community and local athletes who spurred him on throughout the run, particularly during the latter stages where he had to draw on his last remaining reserves of mental and physical strength.
Smith said his goal was to compete 201km, however, 12 hours into the run he knew he could reach that milestone and set himself 211km, the equivalent of around five marathons.
“With six hours remaining I knew it was going to be tight, but if I kept pushing I would be able do it. Unfortunately with about 90 minutes remaining I hit the wall, and the last 75 minutes was torture,” said Smith after completing the run.
“I could have easily settled for 201km but that’s not what we were put on earth for, we were put here to live, to learn and to test our human potential.”
A former professional rugby player, Smith retired in 2010 and now competes in endurance events. He challenged himself during last year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge by successfully running 30 marathons in 30 consecutive days. Remarkably, he completed the daily marathons only a few months after he was hit by a truck in Fujairah and left with life-threatening injuries.
Khalid Al Zarooni, President of Dubai Sports City said: “Marcus Smith is not only an incredible athlete, he is an incredible human being. We have been proud to partner with Marcus and would like to congratulate him on yet another amazing achievement. He continues to inspire the people of Dubai and we can’t wait to see what he does next.”
The new track, which is accessible to Dubai residents who become members, has seen a renovation process that included the complete removal of the existing football pitch and running track, as well as the rectification of the base to meet international standards. The athletics track was made using products from EPI Synthetic Surfaces & Material B.V., a specialist sport surface manufacturer from the Netherlands and approved by the IAAF. The installation of the athletics track, which was completed in three weeks, was also supervised by IAAF approved specialists. The artificial turf for the football pitch was installed by ACT Global, a US-based FIFA preferred manufacturer.
Also receiving a major upgrade was Dubai Sports City’s football pitch. The new facilities have been upgraded with the latest modern materials to continually meet international standards.