Sharjah: The sixth edition of the annual Sharjah Ladies Run — one of the UAE’s largest female-only fitness challenges organised by Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC) — has announced a new award category for this year’s run, exclusively for Emirati participants. The three fastest Emirati finishers in the races will receive awards, specially instituted to encourage and promote local women runners. The three top Emirati finishers will receive cash prizes for both the 5-km and 10-km run categories amounting to Dh24,000. Khawla Al Serkal, director-general, Sharjah Ladies Club, said: “While the Sharjah Ladies Run is aimed at women of all nationalities, age groups and backgrounds, we decided to create this new award category to motivate Emirati ladies who want to make this cardio exercise part of their daily lives, or even consider taking it up professionally. In last year’s edition of the run 66 per cent of the contestants were Emiratis, and the sixth runner-up was an Emirati woman, which really impressed us. In the UAE, we noticed an increased number of female athletes in a variety of sports especially in running, which reflects the club’s success in encouraging Emirati women and increasing their awareness in the need of adopting a healthy lifestyle.”