Dubai woman to run seven marathons in seven days

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Inclusion advocate Hollie Murphy will take on the challenge of running seven marathons over seven days across seven emirates to spread the word about involving people with special needs in sports.

Ms Murphy will cover a gruelling 294 kilometres starting on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, followed by Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Sharjah before ending in Dubai on April 2.

“We need to be more united, have more inclusive communities and create a better, much more inclusive world,” said the 34-year-old Irishwoman.

Heroes of Hope operates with the belief that sports should be accessible for all athletes and no matter how long the road, we will get there step by step

Hollie Murphy

The endurance run will raise funds for Al Jalila Foundation and Heroes of Hope, a non-profit organisation Ms Murphy founded to provide community sports programmes for people with disabilities.

Her objective is to increase opportunities for people with special needs in sports so they “feel supported and confident in themselves”.

“Heroes of Hope operates with the belief that sports should be accessible for all athletes and no matter how long the road, we will get there step by step,” Ms Murphy said.

Athletes with disabilities will join her for some stretches of the run and she will be followed by a support team to monitor her safety.

Her team of three have been vaccinated and took PCR tests.

“Our entire team of volunteer coaches believe that our athletes of determination, our ‘heroes,’ have limitless potential for athletic achievement,” Ms Murphy said.

A former PE teacher in Dubai, she began training people with disabilities after school when she noticed they were left out of sports classes.

She encouraged 11 athletes to complete an endurance challenge in Hatta in December – the first time a group with special needs participated in an adventure sport race in the UAE.

Ms Murphy will start and end the marathon on Saturday at the Desert Shield Fitness facility in Zayed Port, Abu Dhabi.

She will set out at about 5am and aims to complete the marathon by 9.30am.

The finish time may extend as the week progresses.

Enthusiasts can track her progress on the Strava fitness-tracking app.

Published: March 27, 2021 11:53 AM