Emirati long-distance runner completes Abbott World Marathon Majors

It was the completion of an eight-year odyssey that has seen him push his way through every imaginable barrier to earn the coveted 'Six Star Finisher Medal'

By Team KT

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Abdulla AlShehhi's journey to excellence started 15 years ago. — Supplied photo
Abdulla AlShehhi's journey to excellence started 15 years ago. — Supplied photo

Published: Mon 3 Jun 2024, 7:41 PM

The Emirati spirit of endurance and determination has soared to new heights with Ras Al Khaimah's long-distance runner, Abdulla AlShehhi, conquering the prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors (WMM).

The WMM is a championship-style competition for marathon runners that is a points-based competition founded on six major marathon races recognised as the most high-profile in the world – covering the cities of Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York.


AlShehhi recently finished the Boston marathon, and says it was the completion of an eight-year odyssey that has seen him push his way through every imaginable barrier to earn the coveted ‘Six Star Finisher Medal’.

“My journey is a testament to the power of dreams, ambition, and an unyielding spirit that refuses to be daunted by challenges,” AlShehhi said.


“It has been a journey of mental and emotional fortitude, fuelled by the unwavering support of my family and community. Their encouragement has been my beacon, guiding me through the toughest moments and inspiring me to keep pushing forward.”

AlShehhi’s journey started over 15 years ago when he began a transformation when faced with a harsh realization about his health and future. Battling excess weight that had become both a physical and emotional anchor, AlShehhi said he knew it was time to change his life.

His initial steps were humble and challenging. AlShehhi’s first run, a mere five minutes on a treadmill, left him gasping for air - a stark reminder of the long road ahead.

But rather than deter him, this experience ignited a spark within AlShehhi. With each passing day, he dedicated himself to pushing a little further, embracing healthier eating habits, and slowly, the weight began to fall away. After several months of unwavering perseverance, he emerged 30kg lighter, not just in body but in spirit, with a newfound passion for running that he never knew he could possess.

The event that started his epic racing journey was none other than the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon. Living in Ras Al Khaimah, a promotional ad caught his eye and planted a seed of possibility in his mind.

Thereafter began a newfound belief in himself that propelled him into the world of long-distance running, setting the stage for all the marathons and adventures that lay ahead.

Through sheer willpower and unwavering commitment to excellence, AlShehhi has not only showcased his athletic prowess but he has also become an inspiring symbol of resilience for his community.

In a celebration of this remarkable achievement, AlShehhi invites fellow Emiratis, athletes, and supporters from around the world to join in commemorating this milestone and to continue championing the spirit of perseverance and excellence.

As AlShehhi embarks on the next leg of his own personal journey, he carries with him the pride and admiration of the nation, inspiring others to reach for their own personal summits and to embrace the power of perseverance in the pursuit of greatness.

“My mission now extends beyond the track; it's about sharing my journey with my people and beyond, hoping to inspire not just fellow runners but anyone who faces a dream that seems out of reach,” AlShehhi said.

“Whether you're lacing up your first pair of running shoes or facing a completely different challenge, know that every step forward is a step toward achieving your goals. Let my story be a reminder that no dream is too big, no goal too distant if you're willing to commit to the journey and believe in your ability to succeed.”

AlShehhi, 37, says his life is a balancing act between being a dedicated petroleum engineer at ADNOC Offshore in Abu Dhabi and embracing the identity of a passionate long-distance runner. He’s also a proud father to four children, constantly navigating “the beautiful chaos of parenthood alongside my aspirations on the track”.

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