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MARCH 21ST ANNOUNCED AS THE DAY THE UAE RUNS AS THE ZAYED MARATHON RETURNS TO YAS MARINA CIRCUIT

Key government stakeholders join forces to get the country running together in huge show of community spirit on March 21st   

Registrations now open to runners of all abilities for popular community race in aid of Healthy Kidney Foundation

Leading stakeholders of the UAE Government joined forces today at Yas Marina Circuit to announce the launch of the Zayed Marathon 2015, the day the UAE runs together.

Held on 21st March, the race is organised by the Armed Forces Officers Club in collaboration with Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company.

All of these large corporate and government agencies are supporting the run in order to foster healthier and fitter communities, a sense of inclusiveness among the UAE’s residents and to celebrate the country’s national identity.

It was also announced that registrations are now open for the popular annual event, which raises money for the Healthy Kidney Foundation, and is open to runners of all abilities, aiming to get members of the community fit and active by running together. All proceeds from the AED 100 registration fee will go to the Healthy Kidney Foundation.

The Zayed Marathon honours the country's founding President, H.H. Sheikh Zayed, an avid supporter of kidney charities, and is held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

Featuring a brand new pro-field category for more experienced runners the Zayed Marathon is the only run in the region to offer a mixture of traditional UAE heritage and fitness and encourages runners of all abilities from beginners to the more advanced to get active and run together.

Two distances, a 10K and 5K run around the iconic F1 circuit, are open to participants of all ages and nationalities, and there is also a 5K “Hand Cycle” race for wheelchair competitors. There is a total prize fund of AED 250,000 this year, with cash prizes awarded for first, second and third places in all events.

This year, for the first time, all entrants to the Zayed Marathon will have their BMI index and other data measured on site as part of the Yas Marina Circuit’s ongoing ‘Big Data’ health audit initiative to benchmark the UAE’s activity habits. The information collected will add to the existing knowledge base for use in future health planning strategies in the emirate.

Lt General Mohammad Al Kaabi, of the Armed Forces Officers Club, said “The Zayed Marathon seems to get bigger and better every year, and has become a key event in the Abu Dhabi health and fitness calendar. 

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for people – whether they’re seasoned athletes or complete beginners – to come together for a great cause, have some fun and of course enjoy the fitness benefits.

“We are honoured to be continuing the work of Sheikh Zayed, raising money and awareness of the Healthy Kidney Foundation.”

Spectators at this year’s race are in for a treat too, with a lively programme of entertainment away from the track to keep the whole family amused. This will include free children’s activities, food and beverage stalls and live performances from Arabic and Western artists.

Each competitor will receive a timing chip, finisher shirt and race number. Entrants must be at least 15 years of age.

Runners can enhance their race preparations by signing up for the hugely popular training programmes held at the weekly TrainYAS and GoYAS sessions.

A social media campaign will run alongside this year’s event, and competitors are encouraged to post their best preparation stories on Instagram using the hashtag #ZayedMarathon. Everyone who posts will be in with a chance of winning return flights and accommodation to the Healthy Kidney 10k in New York City on 30th May.

Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, urged as many people as possible to sign up for the Zayed Marathon.

He said: “We are pleased to welcome the return of the Zayed Marathon to the circuit. We are huge advocates of leading a healthy and more active lifestyle and the Zayed Marathon is a great way for members of the local community of all ages to get motivated and enjoy a fun day out.”   

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