Expo 2020 Dubai transforms into a massive marathon track

About 3,500 participants turned up to take part in the second edition of Expo Run.



Supplied photos
Supplied photos

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Sat 22 Jan 2022, 4:37 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Jan 2022, 10:40 PM

Visitors at the Expo 2020 Dubai were in a different mood on Saturday morning. Their adrenaline was at highest and spirits soaring as they participated in the second edition of Expo Run.

Residents and visitors reached the Expo site as early as 6am dressed in track pants and jackets, and running shoes. They had three different runs to choose from – 3km , 5km and 10km.

About 3,500 participants turned up to take part in the event donning fuchsia pink Expo 2020 Dubai shirts. There were runners of all ages, including babies strollers, children, parents and grandparents, .

The run started at the Qatar Pavilion through winding routes that took participants past the three thematic pavilions and numerous country pavilions, before crossing the finishing line at Jubilee Park.

The runners then made their way to the Festival Garden arena for the awards ceremony and some complimentary refreshments. All the participants were given a one-day free pass to Expo 2020.

Marwell Ramos from the Philippines won the 10km Men’s Run, with a time of 28 minutes 50 seconds, a full two minutes ahead of Brahim Slimani from Morocco in second place, while Reichelle Demdam, also from the Philippines, took the first place in the Women’s 10km Run and ninth place overall.

“It’s just a great feeling to participate at the Expo Run. The experience was something else that cannot be described in words,” said Martin Parez, an Argentinian expat working at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Martin has been working at the world fair since the past seven months and he believes that today the place was brimming with energy this morning. “I come here every day to work. But today it was for fitness-which Expo 2020 Dubai is evidently promoting,” Martin said.

Martin, who was working at a leading airline seven years ago, returned to Dubai to work at the Expo. He is now planning to live in Dubai even after the event. “Dubai has changed a lot,” he added, while saying that the place is the capital for events.

Many participants are looking forward for more editions. Among them is Aarash Youssef, senior sales and leasing consultant at a real estate firm and a fitness enthusiast. He has been a regular participant at most of the fitness events organised in the country. “I'm sure whoever participated enjoyed and are looking for Expo Run 3,” he said.

“I have taken part in almost all the fitness and running events but this was amazing. I met some like-minded-great people, excellent management and support from event holders and overall was another great experience,” Arash added.

Participants were appreciative of the way the organisers hosted the event taking into account all the Covid-19 protocols.

“The crowd was scattered and the event was organised very well by the organisers. I met many like-minded people from different part of the world,” said Ion Gonzaga, a Filipino national working as a digital designer.

Ion undertook 5km challenge and was preparing for the run as he missed the first edition. “I was diagnosed with a medical condition and the doctor had advised me not to take part in marathon three years back. I made it today to for the 5 km race and will target more distances in the near future,” he added.

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Expo 2020 Dubai will host the Health & Wellness Week – the eighth of 10 Theme Weeks under the Programme for People and Planet – from January 27 to February 2, followed by the Terry Fox Run on February 5 to mark World Cancer Day (February 4).

A Ladies Run will take place on March 12, while the Expo 2020 Dubai: Run 3 will take place on March 26. Runners who wish to participate should register at www.premieronline.com.

ayaz@khaleejtimes.com


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